NEW YORK — Stella McCartney is bringing a "green" collection exclusively to Barneys New York.
The specialty retailer asked the designer, who has famously renounced meat and leather, to create the line. Barneys in February began an initiative to introduce eco-friendly and ethically produced products into its stores with the launch of the Loomstate for Barneys collection in 12 Co-op units.
"It's the first time a major designer has done a collection that's all organic," said Julie Gilhart, Barneys' fashion director, referring to McCartney's line. "It does not read organic in any way, shape or form."
The 18 pieces in the collection, which are not only organic, but ethical and sustainable, include "a great oversize jacket, amazing novelty knits, a Stella-esque oversize coat, shorts, tops, pants and little dresses," Gilhart said. "There are limited quantities and we're going to sell all of it."
Trims and recycled fabrics from past stock are used in the collection to reduce its environmental impact. McCartney also used a low-impact process to dye garments. The resort-oriented line, priced from $595 to $1,495, will arrive in stores in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco in mid-November.
"It was a separate undertaking that Stella did for us," Gilhart said. "She had to source differently, do new designs and add an extra expense. In talking to other designers there's an interest but maybe they're not as familiar with it as Stella naturally is. It goes in sync with our introduction of her Care organic skin care. Stella is the most perfect person to start this with."
She's not the only designer bringing organic designs to Barneys, however.
Phillip Lim is creating an ongoing collection of 100 percent certified organic cotton apparel scheduled to bow in the spring. Gilhart said a deep-V sleeveless dress with an Empire waist and back sash for $595 will be featured in the Barneys holiday catalogue. The retailer is planning a "green" Christmas with store windows, advertising and holiday catalogues displaying an environmental theme. Rudolph the Recycled Reindeer and Frosty the Fair Trade Snowman will be Barneys' mascots.
Other organic and eco-friendly products in the works include Lutz & Patmos' organic knit collection for the Co-op and Greencaste by Earnest Sewn, which takes into account not only the organic raw materials used to make jeans, but key steps in the manufacturing process. For example, jeans are being air-dried rather than dried using electricity or gas.
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