By  on October 19, 2007

NEW YORK — Held in ABC Carpet & Home, the eco-friendly "FutureFashion" show Wednesday included looks from 12 designer lines such as Halston, Peter Som, Daryl K, and Oscar de la Renta.

Collaborating with hundreds of designers and labels in an ongoing project to promote sustainable fashion, the nonprofit organization Earth Pledge provided them with over 600 different types of renewable, reusable, nonpolluting materials including bamboo, organic denim, organic cotton and wool, and hemp silks. A portion of the proceeds from the event, co-hosted by House & Garden, will establish a green roof on a housing project in the Bronx.

Some 400 guests socialized to a mix of world music, while models standing on white blocks towered above the crowd. The short presentation featured looks such as a Lela Rose black sasawashi dress with a scalloped hem and a recycled metal-embellished décolleté, and a de la Renta cream hemp silk tiered gown with an iridescent cream corn fiber overlay, coupled with Te Casan shoes made of recycled scarves. The looks presented were not for sale, but were part of the nonprofit's initiative to encourage designers to use green fashion.

Skeptics label the green movement as a trend, but ABC chief executive officer and creative director Paulette Cole sees it differently. "It's a critical tipping point and a new way of being an entrance into a new age without using the trendiness of those words. People taking responsibility, nurturing and taking care of our planet and each other is well beyond a trend. We're growing up and our awareness is maturing."

Designer Bahar Shahpar cited a consumer demand and accessibility on both ends of the market as valid reasons to pursue green fashion. "Ten years from now the idea of being sustainable is not going to be something uncommon," added designer Lara Miller.

Others pinpoint a need to diversify the use of materials in fashion.

"We need a revolution. I hope that is what we're in the middle of. The industry is a dozen or more years behind, but the materials we have today are light years ahead of materials we had three years ago," said Leslie Hoffman, executive director of Earth Pledge.She said the fashion industry is so behind the rest of the green movement because the industry is predicated on the need to always be new and throw away the old; what the green fashion movement focuses on is quality and durability. "This is an invitation to designers coming out of school because things can no longer be beautiful but toxic," she said.

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