Colgate Couture: Down to Earth

Colgate Couture: Down to Earth

Emily Johnson

One of the most recent trends in the fashion world is to “go green.” No, I’m not referring to the color of the season. I’m rather talking about the fact that a lot of designers have decided to reduce their carbon footprint and create organic and eco-friendly clothing. Fortunately for us, they are able do so without sacrificing their quality and contemporary styles we all know and love.

An example of eco-friendly fashion at its finest is Phillip Lim. Lim, who is also one of my favorite designers, sends dozens of whimsical and unexpected designs down the runway every season with his 3.1 phillip lim collection. He is always pushing the rules of fashion, and that is why it was no surprise when Lim decided to launch his Go Green Go collection. In this 10-piece collection, Lim used eco-friendly fabrics to create his signature silhouettes. The looks have been well received by both celebrities and critics in the fashion world.

Re Collection and Organic by John Patrick are two other brands that are attempting to take eco-friendly fashion out on the town. Re Collection, designed by PJ Faulstick, uses vintage clothing as part of the material for his updated designs. From corset tops to fringe dresses and studded pencil skirts, Faulstick certainly gives these recycled materials a new life. John Patrick’s Organic label is the perfect combination for those eco-forward shoppers looking for the latest trends. His collection is filled with slip dresses, high waist pants and leather blazers that result from Patrick’s four years of research on organic farming and practices.

Luckily for us, eco-friendly fashion has found a local home. This past weekend, the company Clothing for a Better Earth (CFBE) opened its first store at the Carousel Center in Syracuse. The first “green” retail space in Syracuse, CFBE is an entirely glass store positioned in the middle of the Center Atrium at the mall. Recently, I had the opportunity to learn more about the company from the President of CFBE, Randy Federgreen, and Ian Murphy, a senior here and CFBE’s Brand Representative at Colgate.

The idea behind Clothing for a Better Earth was to create an eco-responsible company that promotes environmental awareness through fun and quality clothing. 

“Eco-responsibility and natural elements to me are the new luxury,” Federgreen said. “It’s not just about Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. It’s about taking design and what Mother Earth has given us and putting them together.”

And that is exactly what Clothing for a Better Earth has done. The entire store was created out of recycled and refurbished pieces, making it an eco-conscious retail space that is also LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. The factories CFBE uses to manufacture their products also maintain the highest standards of social and eco-responsibility. The clothing is made from organic materials, and all processes that required chemicals are done with eco-responsible treatments. The factories also use low water ratios to decrease usage and all water that is used in production is recycled. The result is clothing that is comfortable, fashionable, and affordable, but most importantly, environmentally responsible.

The store carries three brands that are currently exclusive to CFBE. The first brand, Sympl Jeans, is a line of soft and lightweight tees that are made from superfine 100% organic Peruvian cotton. These reasonably priced knits come in several styles and great colors. Sympl Jeans also carries denim for both men and women that are available in a variety of washes and fits.

Eco University is the store’s second brand, which is a line of young preppy knitwear ranging from polo’s to rugby’s. These are also made with 100% organic Peruvian cotton, which makes for a great fit and a comfortable feel. Lastly is the store’s namesake brand Clothing for a Better Earth. This consists of several men’s tees that have front pockets with complimenting logos and graphics.

For those of you who feel as though Colgate’s campus is essentially a J. Crew catalogue, CFBE is the place for you. The company only produced 18 pieces of each knit style, so it is less than likely you will spot someone on the quad with your same look.

So who could ask for a better combination? If anyone understands loving clothes, it’s me. But at the same time, we need to embrace responsibility for our earth and be proactive about engaging in eco-friendly practices. With all of these new options available in the fashion world, it is now possible to be both environmentally aware and fashionably savvy.