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Eco-friendly fashion ain't what it used to be, and we mean that with every ounce of positivity we've got. Major brands like Stella McCartney and H&M have threads that err on the side of being environmentally conscious, and we're happy to say that Miami designers are following suit. In honor of Earth Day, we've gathered three local fashion brands who are using greener materials in their garments, from organic fabric in yoga pants to real leaves from the ground for jewelry. Jump through to meet the teams behind these brands, and learn a thing or two about their eco-friendly threads.
YOGiiZA: If yoga is meant to bring you good vibes, then it only makes sense to start the attraction the second you put on a pair of yoga pants. YOGiiZA is a local company that makes yoga gear for men and women using only organic fibers and eco-friendly dyes. It's the brainchild of husband and wife tag team Dawn and Mark Oliver, who are both practicing yoga instructors who saw a need for clothing that wasn't as stifling as the synthetic, plastic-based pants and shirts they were once wearing as they downward dogged.
"We noticed most of the clothes are contradictions to what yogis are teaching. The clothing they are wearing is made with toxic chemicals. We thought there was an opportunity to give yoga practitioners clothing made with organic cotton, no chemical pesticides, no fertilizers, no harmful dye materials. These things are not only good for mother earth but also healthier for individual wearing the garment, especially when you're sweating," says Mark. Most of their gear is sold at local luxury hotels, like the Biltmore and Aqualina, and at yoga studios like Ayama Yoga and Trio Yoga. "It's not only about having a conscious brand," says Mark, "It's about giving yogis and people a product they feel proud to wear and that makes them feel good and look good."
Nugaard: Pun intended, Nugaard is the golden jewelry idea of best friends Erica Pacey and Calu Grinfeder. They use natural materials from their home country, like golden grass from Northwest Brazil for their CAMPO collection and real leaves that are dipped in silver and gold for their FLORA collection. The latter actually gives something back to the environment; for every FLORA piece you buy, Nugaard and their partner, Trees for the Future, will plant a tree back into the earth.
"We wanted to use natural materials to not harm people or our environment and we like to use things twice. It helps the world be a better place while we look pretty," says Calu. Their goods have been featured in big time publications like Harper's Bazaar, Lucky, InStyle and Glamour, and you can score them online or at local boutiques like Emporium, Nikki's Beachhouse and Donald J. Pliner.Images Via Clean Clothing
Clean Clothing: Clean Clothing is a Downtown Miami-based design and silk-screening company that produces graphic tees, apparel, accessories, and a bevy of other goods with water-based, biodegradable ink. "Once it gets bleached or ruined it can be turned into a dog chew toy," says Kristin Ritchie, who is part one of the husband and wife duo behind Clean Clothing. Her husband, Justin, heads the artwork while she handles the merchandising.
They have been designing and printing everything in-house since 2008 and are so hands on, in fact, they often buy their own paint from local art stores like Pearl. "We treat it like a seasonal restaurant when it comes to colors and designs," she says, and their current endeavor includes collaborating with artists to turn their artwork into t-shirt designs. If you're looking to buy one of their tanks and crewnecks, the last place you should look at is an actual storefront, as they're dead set on reducing their carbon footprint. Instead, you can find their non-toxic tees online or at shopping events around town, like Wood Tavern's El Mini Market.
· YOGiiZA [Official Site]
· Nugaard [Official Site]
· Clean Clothing [Official Site]