Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sustainable style

These days, going green doesn't mean wearing an organic cotton sack

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We celebrate Earth Day on Monday. As a fashionista, it's not always easy to honour this eco-friendly anniversary -- mainly because designers and labels that practise that green mantra aren't always the most fashion-forward.

Sure, their clothes are free from chemical dyes and constructed out of natural textiles, but often they fall short on the style side of the sustainable eco-equation. Think unstructured tops and loosely fitted pants in drab hues -- blah.

Thankfully, the trend over the past few years in "green garments" is shifting. More and more designers are opting to create collections using Earth-friendly materials. Likewise, those labels, which traditionally skewed to the utilitarian look, are taking a more stylish approach.

If you're looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day with eco-conscious flair, might I recommend checking out a few of my favourite designers, brands and boutiques, where you can leave looking chic and feeling environmentally savvy.

Voila! by Andréanne -- This fashionable, comfortable brand, available online at www.voilaandreanne.com and at various boutiques throughout Canada, was created by Winnipeg designer Andréanne Dandeneau. No stranger to the Canadian fashion scene, Voila! by Andreanne has served up stylish eco-designs for eight years.

Her collections range from comfy, casual weekend wear to sleek, streamlined office attire to fun, flirty frocks ideal for a fabulous night on the town. And best of all, every Voila! by Andréanne garment is made from organic cotton and bamboo fibres.

Winnipeggers looking for a sneak peek at the 2013 spring/summer collection are in luck. The designer is hosting an open atelier sale today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 311 Dumoulin St.

H&M -- We all know this brand for their fashion-forward, cheap, trendy and not always eco-friendly clothing. But a few years ago H&M introduced the Conscious Collection, which features garments made with organic cotton and shoes constructed from leather certified by the Leather Working Group.

Five Two Boutique -- Located in the Exchange District at 52 Adelaide St., Five Two Boutique is a one-stop shop for everything stylish and sustainable. Here you will find gorgeous, natural silk frocks with graphic prints, funky clogs and wedges by Swedish Hasbeens and airy organic cotton tops that resemble wispy clouds.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 20, 2013 E10

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