Eco Chic: is fashion getting greener?

How Fashion is Going Green

When the average person considers eco-friendly clothing options, they may have images of the wardrobe from The Matrix (not the cool trenches and skintight pants they sported inside the Matrix, but the unfinished, no-color sacks they wore on the Nebuchadnezzar).  But green fashion has come a long way from the rough, un-dyed, homespun garments of yesteryear.  In fact, you may not be able to tell the difference between textiles that have harmed the planet at every turn and those that have done very little to increase your carbon footprint.  Thanks to changes in the industry that have turned an eye towards the future of fashion and how it relates to the environment, green fashion has grown.  Here are just a few ways in which the clothes on your back may be getting a little greener.


The crossover between green living and the fashion industry starts with education and the new batch of designers entering the field.  This is why it’s awesome that so many fashion schools are now offering courses that explain the goals and possibilities where green fashion is concerned, as well as offering instruction in how to make eco-friendly clothing and accessory.  Even well-known schools like the Fashion Institute of Technology have embraced the possibility of greener clothing options by hosting exhibits and offering seminars and courses in eco-fashion.


Organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, eucalyptus, and plenty of other plants are all being used to create fabrics that are free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, doing less harm to your body as well as the environment.  And peace silk and organic wool are gathered humanely so that no animals are killed to give you the shirt on your back (which is good for your conscience as well as the animals).  In addition to the many environmental benefits that come with these textiles, you’ll be happy to hear that they’re good for your wallet, too.  Although they may be a bit more expensive initially, they can last up to ten times as long thanks to the fact that no chemicals are present to break down the fibers prematurely.  And many designers are now opting for these fabrics in their lines, thus supporting the organic farming movement.


If you knew how many chemicals went into producing a garment (bleaches, dyes, flame retardant, stain-proofing, and even formaldehyde, amongst other things), you might not be so keen to put them on your skin.  And in addition to the potential for bodily harm, the processes used to manufacture textiles for clothing are a source of pollution and waste.  But concerned designers and manufacturers are beginning to seek ways to reduce the damage caused by clothing creation, from using natural dyes and skipping chemicals to recycling scrap cloth left over from the production of garments.


You can’t have a fashionable ensemble without a few accessories, and while some green changes are obvious (faux leather belts, shoes, and handbags, for example, or accessories made from recycled materials), others may be things you never even thought of (fair trade precious metals and gemstones for jewelry, shoes that can be recycled to create playground surfaces, etc.).  Many companies in the fashion industry are finding creative ways to go green not only with clothing, but with accessories, as well.


Perhaps you haven’t heard of up-and-coming eco-designers like Casey Larkin, Kizzy Jai Knight, and Ada Zanditon (although you should definitely check them out), but you’ve likely heard of Stella McCartney, who espouses eco-friendly fashion along with her vegetarian values.  And with more and more designers going green, it won’t be long before some of your favorite fashion houses start offering clothing options that will make you feel as good as you look.

Carol Montrose is a writer for where you can create your own custom tshirts, hoodies, and much more.

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Eco Chic: Top 10 Tips to be a Greener Gadgeteer


As I’m sure you all know green is the new black so check out my top 10 tips to make your way to being a green gadgeteer. 

1.Browse the internet on your mobile

Updating your Facebook once on your PC uses the same amount of energy as updating it a hundred times on your phone.

2.Use Eco Font

Eco Font ( has been designed to reduce the amount of ink used when printing. It has small holes in it which are barely visible to the naked eye. If you don’t want to use eco font, or can’t for any reason, why not ask everyone in your office to use the low quality option when printing? You’ll be helping save energy (and a few pennies too).

3.Reduce your printing

Pretty simple this one. Consider how many pages you print a day and if you’re printing more than you actually need to, don’t print so much. No brainer!

4.Ink cartridges

Loads of environmental charities offer a freepost service to send off empty ink cartridges to be refilled and reused. Not only do you reduce the volume going into landfill, but you also help these charities to continue to do their bit. Refilled ink cartridges are available in most stationers and cost no more (and sometimes considerably less) than newly manufactured ones. So buy them instead.

5.Extend your gadget’s life

If your current gadget does everything you need, consider hanging on to it a little bit longer eeeek we know how hard that can be though!!  Not only will you save yourself some money, you’ll also be making more efficient use of the materials that have already been deployed. If you do get a new device and your old model still works, consider donating it to a non-profit organisation such as Computers with Causes, which refurbishes computers for educational institutions. 

6.Use an energy efficient computer

Manufacturers are now making more energy-efficient computers so when it comes to buying a new PC, do your research thoroughly to find the greenest possible option.

7.Recycle your gadgets

Approximately 70% of the heavy metals found in landfills emanate from electronics, and PCs (especially the older ones) contain toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and polyvinyl chloride. For more information on how to recycle your gadgets (and in some instances get a bit of cash out of it too) visit

8.Use your computer more efficiently

If you go downstairs to put the kettle on, put your computer into power-saving mode. Consider turning down your screen brightness and turning off any hardware such as printers, that you’re not using. Pull the plug on your laptop. Your battery (and Mother Nature) will thank you.

9.Use rechargeable batteries

Instead of buying disposable alkaline batteries over and over again, consider purchasing a set of rechargeable NiMH batteries to save money and help reduce landfill waste. They might cost more upfront, but they quickly pay for themselves the more you use them. And they usually have a longer battery life too. Duracell do a great range of these.

10.Use solar chargers

Solar chargers utilise energy directly from the sun and turn it into usable power. Because sunlight is  free to everyone, it makes for a pretty good power source. Without the need to generate artificial energy we preserve our valuable resources and reduce the amount of emissions that pollute the air.

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Eco Chic: green festival gadgets for Glasto

Check out these green gadgets for a fun and eco-friendly festival season.

CASIO Exilim EX-G1 black £189.95

Keep a record of all your festival adventures with the rugged and compact Exilim EX-G1. This 12.1-megapixel camera can withstand drops of up to 2.13 metres and is waterproof to depths of 3 metres.

Ploo Portable Toilet £18.00

When there are no facilities nearby or the queue to the loo is unbearably long, you’ll be glad you brought your Ploo. The Ploo is made from recyclable cardboard, uses degradable bags and can be reused. It is a festival must which can be conveniently packed as it pops up from a flat pack.

 LOGICOM FX250 Walkie Talkies £24.52

Worried about losing your friends in the masses? This two-way radio has a 5 km range ensuring that you can stay in touch with your friends in the festival area without the hassle of a problematic network or the added costs. Features include Voice Operated Transmission (VOX), Built-in Channel Scan, Audible Call Alert, Keypad Lock and LCD display. Requires 4 x AAA battery.

DRAPER 3 LED Waterproof Wind Up Torch £14.48

 This waterproof torch will be your greatest friend through heavy rainfall during festival season. Be prepared! One minute of winding gives up to 40 minutes of bright light.

All gadgets available online from

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Eco chic: eco keyboard by Fujitsu

Fujitsu introduces the first keyboard to be made from renewable materials using injection moulding technology, (that sounds fancy!) – saving CO2 emissions by moving away from plastic components.

Although almost indistinguishable from a keyboard made from plastic – and equally resistant to liquid spills the keyboards are made from 100% biodegradable materials.

The palm-rest is constructed from ARBOFORM®, which is based on lignin, a by-product of the pulp industry, mixed with natural fibers and additives. And the keyboard base is made entirely from BIOGRADE®, a form of cellulose acetate. Underlining its green credentials, the keyboard’s USB cable is also PVC-free.

Fujitsu has developed the eco keyboard as part of its continued focus on integrating Green IT to its product portfolio. By making the switch to renewable materials for the KBPC PX ECO keyboard, Fujitsu expects to save approximately 60,000 kilograms of plastic per year. Woohoo! Well done Fujitsu!

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Girl Geek Go Green


Becoming a green geek has never been so easy with this rather handy eco gadget the ‘Eco Button’.

Just plug this little gizmo into your USB port and give it a tap every time you have to leave your desk. Whether it’s for a long, boring meeting with the boss or drinks at lunchtime (also long but much more fun) the Eco Button makes sure that your PC and monitor draw as little power as possible.

Not only do you get to see how many carbon units you’ve saved when you reactivate the PC but the Eco Button software will also show you how much cash would have been spent if you’d left the computer on – genius, how fab is that!

Price: £12.99, available from

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