Monday, February 9, 2009




Words, Images Judith Ecochard

There’s a reason, season after season, INDIGENOUS Designs nabs the # 1 booth at the Outdoor Retailer Market. We kinda think it’s because this clothing line- made from sustainable fabrics by groups of artisans partisans…has transcended the “label” of “organic” but not necessarily stylish clothes…and really bumped up the whole green category to one of high fashion.

In fact, Indigenous successfully exhibits at major garment gatherings where chic meets street dominate the trendy labels.

We got to see the terrific Fall 2009 collection, guided by Matt Reynolds, President. He was very happy with his year…pointing out that “women’s green wear is still one of the fastest emerging markets.”

“We were born in the outdoor industry…and we’re committed to sustainability, respecting the people who make our clothes, raising their skill level, creating a legacy of a brand…and continuing to stay in and invest back into the community.”

That passion comes through in the quality and the details- lovingly produced by natives men and women---- sourced from knitting and artisan collectives.


There’s a lot to like!

In the new Organic Jersey collection, made from 100% organic cotton, the 80’s influence is updated in an oversized Indi Zip hoodie and a delicately ruched scoop neck top with a sweetheart like neckline- that flatters.

In the West Coast collection, the ‘boyfriend’ craze gets a treatment in an oversized Indi Wave Pullover. We also like the thick ribbed Asymmetrical Zip that reminds us of some of the fashion forward designs of Lyn Devon’s Fall 2008 modern women’s armor collection.

For wear everywhere basics, the Postcards category has slim fitting knits in solid deep colors like leaf green, marina blue and ruby. We loved the delicate hand finished edge to the folded collars of the aptly coined Turning Leaf sweater. There’s also a silk organic cotton Eco Hoodie with oversized coco shell buttons --- an item women can wear with everything.

Polish and pizzazz define the Urban Legends collection that would effortlessly fit into any city slicker’s wardrobe. The ones we covet…the Little Knit Dress with a clever sleek shrug built in

and a positively Gigi-esque long ruffle cardigan that’s epitomizes high style feature handicraft accents.

There’s an Uptown grouping of classics that drape perfectly…thanks to the material tencil/ organic cotton. The popular Drape Button Cardigan - that can be belted over leggings…or worn loose…is available in five autumnal tones, including one of our favs teal.

Textures and geometric patterns get a workout in the Novelty Gallery pieces…made of 100% organic cotton and twine that’s been wonderfully hand knit into a plush Hooded Cable Vest and an elegant Hooded Novelty Vest.

Lastly, we previewed some warm luverious knits in the collection named Door to the World. A chunky hooded Mix Knit Coat and a comfy Long Shawl Cardigan made from free range Alpaca hint at their Peruvian origins but are sophisticated enough for urban dwellers too.