Fashion goes green in Gothenburg

Fashion goes green in Gothenburg
As fashion designers grow ever more ecological, even the achingly hip can dress green in all seasons, according to the first in a series of regular articles from Monthly Magazine in Gothenburg.

For fashion-forward types, it’s not that easy being green. But fortunately it’s starting to get a lot easier. Until recently, clothing made from organic fibres has been associated more with home-made hemp shirts and Birkenstocks than with runway-fresh style. But the wind of change is blowing over the West Coast.

You no longer have to risk being mistaken for a Gudrun Sjöden-wannabe to dress head-to-toe organic. And boutiques that target people who want to support eco-business and look de rigueur are popping up like mushrooms around town.

One of the latest in line is Icons of Eco. The store, which is more like a show room, features a grand selection of brands from fashion houses around the world.

Lotta Berlin, one of the owners, says the store focuses on sustainable style.

“We can’t just look if the clothes are 100% organic. Fair trade goes hand in hand with labour rights and that may be just as important.”

And, she continues, there are designers, like Gothenburg-based Rickard Lindqvist, who do not have an organic label but use only cotton from West Sweden. This is often just as sustainable as cotton produced on the other side of the world and sent here by air freight. We need to look at the whole picture.

Found among the clothing racks at Icons of Eco are rock star Bono and his wife Ali Hewson, with their “sweatshop-free” line of casual wear for men and women called Edun.

Only some of the designs are made from organic cotton, but all are made in family-owned factories in developing countries.

The jeans brand Kuyichi uses recycled denim and costs about the same as a regular pair of designer jeans.

And then there’s the Peruvian brand Misericordia whose simple vintage track suit started out as the uniform of a children’s orphanage and school situated in a shantytown outside Lima.

In order to make it easier for the customer, Icons of Eco will be using tags with information about the garment. It will say if it the clothes are organic, partly organic or labelled fair-trade.

Furthermore it will show the brand’s overall goal; charity, social projects or visionary etc. And it will indicate what the production was like, if any parts of the garment come from recyclable materials, and of course how it has been distributed: by boat, truck or by air freight.

Lotta is keen to talk about the importance of helping the customer find what she/he is looking for.

“If they can’t find it here, we will recommend Stuk or Once Upon A Time or any of the other stores that have the same brands.

“It is great being in Göteborg in that sense; we don’t feel that we have any competitors but on the contrary we try to help each other out. Ecologically and sustainably produced fashion is not just a seasonal trend, but the future.”

Fashion guide for the eco-conscious

Icons of Eco – A great place to get the full line of “it” brands on the market. Magasinsgatan 3.

Drömma – Monthly’s favourite clothing store in the Haga area. Östra Skangatan.

Once Upon a Time – Vinatge and own brand by designer Pia Anjou. Olivedalsgatan 18

DemCollective- Gothenburg based with factories in Sri Lanka with strong focus on labour rights. A well-thought out clothing concept. Storgatan 11

Bonnie & Clyde – Great store with brands like Misericordia. Kungsgatan 4.

Also check out: Alternativ Handel – Andra Långatan 13, Kolam – Kristinelundsgatan 10, Minni ekoaffair – Sveagatan 3, noll.3 – Vallgatan 14, Skank – Andra Långgatan 22, Syra-Kungsladugårdsgatan 10A, Scoop-Kungsgatan 47.