If you still think eco fashion lacks sex appeal, you will be shocked by the images found inside the pages of Fashion Institute of Technology Professor Sass Brown’s new book, titled simply Eco Fashion (Laurence King Press, $35). More likely, though, you’ll learn to covet a designer whose name you don’t yet know, such as the Stockholm-based Camilla Norrback whose modernized vintage wear in ivories and navies are not afraid of feminine touches. Or the Polish-Dutch fashion label Van Markoveik, which uses organic fabrics, hemp blends and catfish skin-dyed silk (the skins are remnants from the fish industry) to create sumptuous striped dresses and nautical, umbrella-shaped coats.
But Brown is not only interested in high fashion. She’s also documenting the green credentials of each label (though not, unfortunately, the price of the garments pictured), and the ins and outs of redesign—making new clothes from old—a movement that has resulted in wildly original handbags embellished with vintage jewelry and newspapers from Costumisee Par Liza. There is also the company Preloved that sells one-of-a-kind pieces (very wearable sweaters, skirts and scarves) made from vintage fabrics. The book is part catalog, part eye candy and part guide to the way we may someday consider where an item of clothing has been—and what it’s made of—before deciding if we’ll buy it.