Eco Chic is a fairly new movement in the big world of fashion. While it is true that an industry-wide greening is underway, it certainly is taking its sweet time. Yet, there are some pioneers that have been paving the way for the evolution of fashion for years. To wit: Melissa Baswell.
Baswell has been creating eco-conscious clothing for almost ten years, originally making them by hand herself and selling them in local boutiques at at festivals. She established her company Mountains of the Moon with $200 and a vision– learning how to do everything herself from design to marketing and manufacturing. The result has been a spectacular business model that proves ethical, green, stylish and profitable are not mutually exclusive.
Mountains of the Moon has garnered a great deal of attention, not only for its green clothing, but for its overall practices and environmental policies. For three years in a row the company was nominated for and chosen as one of 10 worldwide businesses honored as Green Business of the Year by the organization Green America.
The fabrics used by Baswell in her designs are organic cotton, hemp, and other sustainable choices. All the manufacturing is done locally in the U.S. (Illinois and Colorado). Her team is small, wearing many hats; but they are dedicated to their mission and are as passionate about fashion as they are the environment.
Baswell’s design aesthetic is youthful but sophisticated. “I design what I like,” she told me in a phone interview last week. “People who wear our clothes care about style, not trends. We like to think our clothing is wearable art.” Indeed, the pieces offered on Mountains of the Moon website are far above the ‘green style’ of yoga wear and organic cotton t-shirts. They are suitable for professional women who want to look smart and fashion-savvy without sacrificing their ethics.
I asked Baswell what she wanted people to know about her company. “I guess the most important thing I want people to know is that we’re an authentically conscious company,” she said. “So many companies are greenwashing things. You go into a store in the mall that advertises eco-fashion and their pieces are maybe 10% organic, made in a sweatshop. We make every effort to maintain an ethical, sustainable product and process. We’re the real deal.”
Gorgeous, stylish, sustainable clothing made with the highest quality standards of materials and manufacturing. What’s not to love? Check out Mountains of the Moon now for excellent mark downs on last season’s line, and a chance to see some of the new pieces for S/S 09!