New York City, Fashion Capital
I cannot emphasize enough the powerful place of fashion in the environmental movement. With all the chemicals to create synthetic fabrics, all the chemicals to soften natural fabric, all the sweat shops, all the pollutants inside the factories, all the pollutants washed from the factories into our air, land, creeks, and to the sea, plus all the miles to cross many seas, we bring you 21st century materials. (See “Don’t Throw That Away!” February, 2014 post)
Today’s fabrics are so toxic that many people get rashes from them. “Washed” denim used to earn its looks by tumbling the pants in stone tumblers. Today the “washed look” comes from chemical treatment and, as you may have noticed, the natural fiber does not last as long as it used to.
But wait! There is an alternative: Go Vintage.
Whether you buy your clothes from the local thrift store or get “buzzed in” on approval at an upper end consignment shop, you are minimizing a very large chunk of your personal carbon footprint. Now on display in New York City are three excellent exhibits featuring the history of fabric: the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Death Becomes Her exhibit on mourning attire; FIT’s (Fashion Institute and Technology) Exposed: A History of Lingerie; and the Brooklyn Museum‘s Killer Heels, the history of the stiletto. All the exhibits are a reminder of the superior fabric in fashion past.
“Death Becomes Her,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City:
FIT’s (Fashion Institute and Technology) Exposed: A History of Lingerie
Brooklyn Museum’s Killer Heels, the history of the Stiletto
Until recently, shoes were made of natural elements including leather, silk, satin, cotton, and wood.
I also went to New York Vintage where one must be approved to enter! Their vintage clothing is such haute couture that photos are not allowed. However, we can take a photo of their photo collage. Michelle Obama is seen in at least four of the pictures, wearing three different New York Vintage designer fashions that she rented for the special events.
The fabrics used in early fashion were all from natural sources: silk, wool, bone, shell, cotton, linen, leather, etc. Even the threads were from natural sources, and you can wear it all.