The year is winding down, and with most of our holiday shopping and planning done, we finally have some time to take a deep breath and think about how we can improve ourselves, save money and be kinder to our world. Then, there’s the matter of how to look smashing for upcoming New Year’s Eve soirees. Luckily, with stunning, sustainable fashion that won’t break the bank, you can start off the year looking good while doing good.
ASOS, the U.K. retailer that has become synonymous with fun, affordable fashion, teamed up back in 2010 with SOKO Kenya, a collective that utilizes fair, local craftsmanship and ethical sourcing methods to create beautiful garments while ensuring fair wages for their workers, to create ASOS Africa. The December issue of Vogue highlights the ASOS Africa partnership as a major step in kind, affordable fashion, noting that “marrying fashionability and responsibility is more important than ever.” And what gorgeous fashion it is this season! Floral prints go modern with the ASOS Africa Jacquard and Jersey Dress, while the Check Pant oozes effortless chic, perfect for a house party. Make an entrance in this stunner of a coat Vogue hails as “a minimalist high note”; with its oversize fit and color blocking, it’s an on-trend piece that is guaranteed to become a classic.
Costello Tagliapietra is the brainchild of Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, two men whose affinity for awesome facial hair and lumberjack style has definitely turned heads, but their true genius lies in brilliant draping and an eco-friendly dyeing technique that results in slinky, understated dresses. According to TreeHugger.com, Costello Tagliapietra color their frocks using AirDye, an energy-saving process which dyes garments without using water. Their sleek Gathered Cross Front Dress is a versatile little black dress that would look great at a swanky cocktail party or major social event. Take the Floral Silhouette Wrap Dress from elegant to edgy with black tights and ankle boots. The best part? The dresses, which normally retail for just under $300, are on sale for $119 each at Barneys.com!
Hessnatur is eco-fashion at its simplest, utilizing natural fabrics from renewable resources, down to their trims and buttons, to create wardrobe basics with a twist. Pair a fitted sweater or long-sleeved tee with these fabulous organic wide-leg jeans for the perfect party look. Organic cotton leggings with geometric seaming (see photo at right), designed by Eviana Hartman of the defunct eco fashion label Bodkin, are a great layering piece that will last you long after New Year’s Eve. Try pairing them with the glammed-up ASOS Africa Hoodie in Mirror Print or the brilliant ASOS Africa Checked Shirt with Peplum for a funky look that marries comfort and cool.
When in doubt, go vintage! Consignment shopping is a great way to find a unique piece while positively impacting the environment and your wallet. Even better, if you have a gently used item the shop happens to be looking to sell, you can score some end-of-year cash! Buffalo Exchange is a chain of consignment shops with locations across the country, praised by the Washington Post, Nylon Magazine and Elle Magazine, among others, for the stores’ curated picks. Check out their location and bulletins to find out what’s going on in your area. While you’re at your local consignment shop, pick up a pair of black jeans and try this neat galaxy print styling trick via the Sun Was High; all you need is bleach and paint to create brilliantly designed denim.
The only outfit more environmentally sound than these is your birthday suit, so get shopping!