Green Wedding Gown Sheds 'Light' On The Sustainable Fashion Industry And Fair Trade Labor Practices

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Austin, texas fashion designer, Rene Geneva holds true to high standard business practices, training fair wage, fair trade labor in Nicaragua and making the switch to sustainable textiles. Her newest release of an eco-friendly light up wedding gown attracts attention to this hot trend.

Since 1998, Faernyn's Grove Corsetry has been synonymous with high quality, unique corsets and couture clothing, primarily marketing to exotic night life. Recently, however, owner and designer Rene Geneva decided to expand her designs to include bridal and street-wear and make the switch to organic, sustainable, and traceable fabrics. The inspiration to switch came from a visit with a friend in Albuquerque, from whom René learned of the value of green architecture. "I knew immediately that I had to change the focus of my business to be more mindful of the planet."

It was for her green architect friend that René Geneva designed her now signature light up 'green' wedding gown. The dress and corset is made from 100% SBPTM rated hemp silk, while the two foot train in back is created from a fiber optic woven fabric called "Luminex" that appears to twinkle when lit by an LED hooked to a thin battery pack that sits inside a hidden pocket sewn into the dress. It is this fairy tale dress that has drawn crowds at the last Sustain-A-Ball held in Austin, Texas this May.

But René's dedication to her new mission didn't stop with switching fabrics. Synonymous with quality products and high business standards, Faernyn's Grove Corsetry spent nearly two years seeking manufactures that shared René Geneva's new vision. Finally, in an area of Nicaragua ravaged by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, she found a fair wage, fair trade, worker-owned cooperative where displaced citizens earned more than twice the national average wage by sewing T-shirts in a sweat-free establishment. René Geneva and an assistant flew to Nicaragua to personally train these women and men to produce her more complicated designs. "The people were wonderful and their warmth and courage shows in their work," she observed. "I was highly impressed by their skills, their dedication, and their heart."

Faernyn's Grove Corsetry recently released their new couture and bridal designs from eco-friendly fabrics such as certified organic cotton, formaldehyde-free silk, hemp blends, and Tencel - a textile fabricated from the cellulose found in wood pulp- in a blow out show that incorporated fashion with middle eastern dance, puppetry, and live music. Most of their fabrics have a traceable preproduction down to the farmers, which grow without the use of pesticides. Many of her designs also carry an SBP, or sustainable biodegradable productTM rating that informs the consumer how much of the end product is 'eco-wise'. Her designs are far from the typical earth friendly clothing available in stores as well. "Its very exotic" says Dominique Bertrand, owner of Mechanical Bunny Clothing, "Think Madonna meets National Geographic."

René Geneva is excited about the future of her business in fashion, where social responsibility and regard for the environmental are ingrained in the company's mission and everyday business practices. "If we are going to pass our wisdom onto our children, then may it be wise"

Faernyn's Grove Corsetry's showroom is located in Austin, Texas at 509 W. Elizabeth Street, (512) 762-2918 and on the web at Photos by Jean Phillipe Martin,

Ready to Wear Available at:

Ahead of the Curve Bridal, The Arboretum (512) 343-2317

Unbridaled (512) 444-2743

Blackmail Boutique (512) 326-7670

Moxie & the Compound (512) 441-6699

Stella Rossa (512) 392.2877

Magazine Centerfold: Feedback Magazine, Issue #22, Pg 30-33


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