Eco Fashion: Green is Black

There's no shortage of Toronto companies aligning themselves with the eco-fashion movement. One retailer gaining momentum is green is black. Like Heart on Your Sleeve which we profiled a couple of weeks ago, green is black stocks clothing from a lot of local designers like Passenger Pigeon and Pre-loved as well as international brands including Ecoist, del Forte Jeans and Yellow Port. There are options for both men and women.

Currently the store is online only but plans are in place to open a retail location at 624 Yonge Street in early 2008.

I recently connected with green is black founder Kerry MacMullin to learn more about the company and what she's seeing in the eco-fashion world.

Why are you interested in eco-fashion?

Before founding green is black, I used to buy only second hand clothing because there was nowhere I could satisfy my fashion cravings ethically. There were always certain items that were difficult to impossible to find second hand, and I also realized that not everyone was willing to boycott the new clothing industry like I was!

What makes your company and the products you sell environmentally friendly?

We carry us much local product as we can without having design overlap [which] means I can pick things up by TTC versus having things shipped from China. The materials (such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, soy) used in the designs are either re-claimed, or lower impact than conventional materials. The dyes that designers use are either low impact or vegetable dyed, and the shipping is done with the sparsest packing material possible. green is black is Bullfrog powered, electronically based (as paper free as possible), and carbon offsets what waste we do produce (and our shipping).

What are some of your favourite items you're currently selling?

My favourites are the plastic bag jewelry, soda can earrings, candy wrapper bags and shoes made of truck seating and 18 wheeler tires.

What's happening in the eco-fashion world we should know about?

The eco fashion world is moving so quickly it's difficult to keep abreast of all that is going on! London, England is slated to open it's first Sustainable Design School in September of this year. There are definitely more designers creating eco-friendly fashion lines. I get at least one e-mail every week from a new designer wanting to know if we'll carry them.

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