Wednesday, August 27, 2008
INDIGENOUS: FAIR TRADE + ORGANIC CLOTHING UPS THE STYLE QUOTA
PIONEERING FIRM SOURCES THE WORLD FOR HANDMADE FLORISHES
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SALT LAKE CITY, AUGUST 10TH
We were relieved to see that the enormous collection by Indigenous, a fourteen year old ‘green grass roots’ clothing company – is fashionable as well as true to it’s mission of “creating premium, individually crafted pieces that honor both people and planet.”
Founded by Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds in 1994, Indigenous’ socially responsible business model began with artisanal co-operatives in Peru and Guatemala. Presently, the company works with 300 knitting cooperatives of women (!) who sew, crotchet, weave, and knit sweaters, casual wear and accessories.
The Hand Finished details
Plus…organic cotton and free range sourced Alpaca wool (PETA approved) fabrics and natural fiber textiles… tinged with eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes… were used from the get-go.
Indigenous S/S ’09 offerings are fashion conscious-for as Leonard noted, “we take something that’s edgy with a day to day function.”
We loved the pieces we previewed in the Sports Resort line “designed for leisurely days outdoors or an afternoon packed with activity.” Classically cut lines and all made from organic cotton/Tencel-the colorful separates are" for resort goers of yoga enthusiasts..."(we’re neither but we’d still wear the garb!!!).
As in a front zipped short sleeve top made of 100% organic cotton…and a nice one button hoodie (available in six colors like Punch pink and Sky blue)- that gracefully falls to mid-hip.
Additionally, the “playful” Urban Legends line takes on sophisticated polish for Spring with sleek styling and rich hues. We think the hand crotchet one-button organic cotton/Tencel cardigan with wide elbow length sleeves can dress up our denims as easily as adding some warm frills to a feminine frock.
Other lines including Postcards (beach worthy cardigans, vests, tunics in hand knit organic cotton)
... and the Organic Jersey separates (our favs are the semi-fitted shirred legging that falls just below the knee paired with the softly gathered scooped v-neck tunic in summery Citrine).
Men get a few selections too. The best selling Havana Shirt with a handsome hand loomed by foot (in Guatemala-no electricity)- striped front comes in color combos tabbed Ebony/Maui Stripe, Cream/Route 66, Rain Forest and Slate Blue. A zip jacket, solid shirt (organic cotton) and a Theory Polo (Organic viscose, raw edge seams) are also offered.
FACTOID: For two and a half years, Indigenous has partnered with the posh label Eileen Fischer to produce organic knits-using luxe proprietary blends and novelty yarns.
RETAIL: REI, Whole Foods, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Dillards…in upscale catalogues like Sundance, spas and resorts. And online.