Happy Earth Day! To get back on the theme of sustainable fashion, today I’m writing about an eco-friendly shoe brand I encountered while walking down Montana Avenue in LA. The company? El Naturalista — a manufacturer that “develops footwear to walk through life with respect and care,” according to its website. Setting aside the thought of the carbon emissions resulting from importing shoes from Spain, one can feel good about the comfort, beauty, and fabrication of El Naturalista’s products. These sandals in particular caught my eye.
El Naturalista Cork Oak Sandal N403 from Amazon Germany
Ecologically friendly features include natural rubber outsoles, a recycled footbed, and the use of cork in the heel. Hand stitching also adds to their appeal. All together the look feels like a cross between gladiator sandals and clogs, like the ones used in the Chanel Spring 2010 ready-to-wear collection.
Chanel Spring Ready-to-Wear 2010 Outfit via Style.com
While in Los Angeles this weekend, I went to the city’s fashion district. Painted signs like the one below greet one and all, along with all the hustle and bustle that this colorful neighborhood, located in downtown Los Angeles, has to offer.
Fashion District Sign
The highlight of my visit was a trip to Michael Levine’s, an incredible fabric store with the largest selection of ecological materials I’ve ever seen. From lyocell and knit bamboo to organic cotton and terry cloth, the fabrics on display provide endless possibilities for the creation of sustainable fashion.
Inside Michael Levine 1
Inside Michael Levine 2
Inside Michael Levine 3
I tried my hand at eco-styling tonight. You can see the result on my Polyvore set below. Using the site’s import feature, I added environmentally friendly items handpicked from the web. I had a lot of fun putting together the look. Kudos to the folks at Polyvore for making such a powerful creative tool!
Spring was AWOL this past week in San Francisco. So I found myself more often reaching for a scarf and jacket rather than sandals and a skirt. Here is a round up of sustainable scarves.
Azuri Organic Cotton Scarf from Nimli.com
Organic Cotton Spring Scarf by Margiwarg from Etsy.com
Squid Scarf by Gaiaconceptions from Etsy.com
I’ve been thinking about the organic cotton eyelet fabric (below) that was used in a shirt from Aventura Clothing in a previous post.
Eyelet Fabric in Remi Organic Cotton Shirt from Aventura Clothing
It inspired me to draw this sketch of a dress that would play up the rows of eyelets that make up this pretty material. Would you buy this from Aventura Clothing if they made it?
Bouclé San Francisco Eyelet Dress Design
Cork is a highly renewable resource, since it is harvested from the cork oak tree’s outer layer, which grows back completely every nine to ten years. That’s why these slides from Alexandra Cassaniti caught my eye. Then I learned that they’re made in California! There you go, Val — a shoe that starts to answer the call for sustainability.
Alexandra Cassaniti Cork Wedge Slide
Amy in a hat she designed and made.
My friend Amy designs hats that are fun and stylish. With her label Motley Collection, she sews all the pieces in her Front Street studio. On a recent visit there, I was amazed to learn that she frequently makes her hats using fabric from pants she finds at vintage stores. Recycling cloth in this way, or rather upcycling, she says, is good for the planet and saves her the extra time and cost of treating raw fabric, among many other benefits. Amy’s hats can be purchased at Annabella’s in North Beach.