May 25, 2009
It's an interesting time... for fashion.
Most people are purchasing less in general and instead will focus on selecting a few well-made, timeless and quality pieces. Existing wardrobes will definitely be hauled out of closets and reworked in the spirit of conservation and economic caution. The addition of a striking new accessory such as a statement necklace, a bold ring, or a pair of sculptural shoes can effectively bring an old outfit to life again.
Thankfully, there has been an emerging slow-fashion movement based in sustainability and ethical values instead of disposability and frivolous waste. These are the beliefs I have based my career as an artist on and it’s reassuring to see a larger community of designers really focusing on this as well. Fashion should always be about quality, not quantity. It's encouraging to see a growing focus on fine craftsmanship and the handmade process, as well as the utilization of local, sustainable, organic, ethical and recycled materials.
I personally don't shop too much - but when I "need" something new, I do my research. First and foremost, I look for local, organic, sustainable and ethically sourced options. I also look for clean, timeless designs with attention to craftsmanship and longevity. Will I love it in 5 years... will it last 5 years???
I recently purchased a beautiful pair of shoes from Coclico - a sculptural and modern shoe line created by Sandra Canselier. She is a third generation shoemaker originally from Britany, France. She has a boutique and showroom in Nolita and is currently working with designer Lisa Nading to "achieve a delicate harmony between style and comfort."
I truly believe that designers have a responsibility not only to educate, but to be transparent about their materials, sources and business practices. I like knowing where a company stands - what they are currently doing to be more sustainable, and where they still need to do some work. I loved that I could go onto Coclico's website and read how they are working towards making their line more environmentally-friendly.
Their site explains how they work with vegetable tanned leathers, utilizing natural tanning agents derived from bark, fruit and seeds. The wooden components (platforms & heels) are sustainably harvested under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification. The cork is FSC-certified so they know that the health of the cork trees is not jeopardized by careless extraction. Most of the hardware on the shoes is lead-free and nickel free and the internal foam is made from recycled polyurethane and crushed olive pits, a natural refresher. They also recognize the difficulties involved with being a fully sustainable company and admit that there is still a lot more to be done...
From their site: "Coclico moves forward on our journey toward environmental sustainability. We see many opportunities to lighten our impact on the planet. Our vision culminates in the people we work with, the materials we use, and the energy we spend to create a beautiful product and a clear conscious. Though we know that the road is long, we’re pleased to share the progress we’ve made so far in this effort."
To read more about how Coclico is working towards becoming more sustainable and to see more gorgeous shoes, go to their website:
Or visit their store:
275 Mott Street
New York, NY 10012