Sustainable and ethical fashion comes in myriad formats, and Manhattan's Soho district is a fascinating microcosm of the movement -- from big labels making small changes to local designers ultra-committed to the cause.
Whether you're a budding designer or a conscious consumer, the Ethical Fashion Academy's Sustainable Design Tour is a compelling way to explore these game-changing brands and retailers, meet like-minded fashion lovers, and, of course, add to your wardrobe wish-list. Led by two of the industry's sustainable movers and shakers -- designer and consultant Carmen Artigas and academy founder and footwear designer Francisca Pineda -- the tour meanders through more than a dozen boutiques, from Eileen Fisher to Morgane Le Fay, where Pineda, Artigas and brand reps detail the latest efforts in sustainable, ethical apparel and accessories.
We attended yesterday's session and came away not only more knowledgeable but also super-inspired by the positive change we saw in action. Of course, the tour also highlighted how far industry still has to go -- including the need for transparency and inclusiveness among larger luxury labels. As Artigas put it, "When a giant makes a small change, it's a huge change."
Pineda tells us that the academy is planning a more intensive tour in Brooklyn, where participants will have the opportunity to witness the processes of local artisans. The target kick-off date for this tour is July, so watch the academy's website for details. We definitely will be!