Eco-Friendly Apparel has a New Trend - Slow Fashion

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René Geneva Design will be showcasing slow fashion at this season's Ecollection at WWDMagic.

In this fast-paced world, terminology such as "slow fashion" can cause a double take. "Slow fashion" is an ethical, thoughtful approach to the way fashion ideals are managed resulting in a quality item that will last. Often the underlying thought process can be labeled cradle to cradle and it shows in designers that put this in practice.

Slow fashion must be eco-friendly, fair trade, and transcend a season; which is why, in a forum such as one of fashion's largest tradeshows - WWDMagic - slow fashion can be confusing. Not to be confused, however, with high fashion, a collection of slow fashion items may carry the same high prices and may not be a collection at all.

René Geneva has been unknowingly creating eco-chic, 'slow fashion' since 1997 - almost a decade before the term hit fashion jargon. Not interested in participating in the trendy, high-turnover side of fashion, Geneva began making corsets and dresses in her home to sell to brides, art enthusiasts', and nightclub goers alike. "I really wanted to build a career in something that that I enjoyed with the intention of being able to make my own schedule by the time I was ready to have a kid," says Geneva.

By the time she had her son in 2002, she not only had a successful business under her belt but she was ready to begin manufacturing outside of her own studio. Working for the future of her own family, Geneva couldn't bear the thought of exploiting someone else's.

After working directly with villagers in Indo-Asia, she turned her attention to the women's movement in Latin America and most recently created the non-profit Geneva Foundation for Women and the Arts™ to help provide sewing education and fair wages in developing countries.

Currently all of René Geneva Design's styles are Made in the USA, including a private label called Sofí, in Whole Foods Market. "It's more expensive (to produce in the USA), but it's worth it to know that we can help provide jobs to our own neighbors."

The fashions she creates, however, are far from the styles you would see turn over at the malls. But they are unusual, fun, and have caught the attention of specialty boutiques from LA to Australia. RGD's lines consist of coats, dresses, separates, corsets, bridal, and even socks: all from organic materials, and all fairly manufactured.

The green movement currently has wind in its sails, and its companies such as René Geneva Design that has the benefit of the extra attention. Eco-chic is not just a buzz word, but one that shows the intent of a designer of creating a thoughtful piece that takes little from our resources, human or otherwise. "Slow fashion" may be today's newest fashion trend, but surely, it will be around for a long, long time.

René Geneva Design will be showing at Ecollection WWDMagic at the Las Vegas Convention Center Feb 17-19th. Booth E73300.

WE Television; Wedding Central - Amazing Wedding Gowns, 2008
Veria Network; Simply Beautiful, 2007
Hollywood Live, 2008

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Los Angeles, 2007, 2008
FIT NY Fashion Show, 2007
The Fashion Show at the Fashion Show Mall, 2008

Publications, Blogs:
Austin Woman, 2009
California Apparel News, Multiple
Women's Wear Daily, Multiple
Surface, 2008
Yogi Times, 2007
Dwell, 2006
Rare, 2005
Tree Hugger, 2006


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