Sunday, November 30, 2008

Linda Loudermilk & "Eco Luxury" Design

"Most mornings when I wake up, it's like I'm jumping off a cliff, and building my wings on the way down." - Linda Loudermilk

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a fashionista ... but I LOVE "eco luxury" designer Linda Loudermilk! She is SUCH an inspiration.

For a good introduction, and to see pieces from her collection, check out this video --
The video features Chris Paine (Director of "Who Killed the Electric Car"), Linda Loudermilk, Penelope Cruz, Chevy Chase, Andrea Bowen ("Desperate Housewives"), Petra Nemcova (Sports Illustrated model), talking about living green.

I can't embed this video interview with Linda into my blog, but it's also fantastic. Check it out here!

More great videos on her website. I particularly recommend the video from the Sundance Channel.

Here's her bio, straight from her website:

Visionary couture and eco-designer Linda Loudermilk has been named by “W” Magazine as one of the top 20 innovators to watch. Coined as the “Vivienne Westwood of eco” by Elle Magazine, Loudermilk has spearheaded the creation of a new, luxury eco™ lifestyle, blowing old concepts of environmental living out of the water. Through her revolutionary designs and radical spirit, Loudermilk has redefined sustainability as something alluringly sexy, fun and edgy.

Linda’s personal mission is to influence change on the planet and change within ourselves, the consumer, as we and the planet are directly correlated to one another. Linda’s purpose is to ignite expressiveness, encourage clarity in the choices of daily life and through awareness bring about gratitude of this planet, our home, within which we reside and from which we are fed. Her design, practice and materials are brought together mindfully from her core.

Six years ago, Loudermilk had made it to the Paris runways and the top of high fashion. In that moment she should have been rejoicing in the accolades. Instead, she felt empty. In Loudermilk’s own words,

“I was creating beauty, but beauty without soul.” She realized then that she wanted to make a difference in the world, to shift the way people think about the earth. With groundbreaking passion, she began researching products that are sustainable, by meeting with and learning from scientists and seeking out companies that create fibers without pesticides or other toxic processes. She developed relationships with manufacturers that do not poison the water supply as they have a consciousness about their effect on the earth.

What Loudermilk discovered is a world of design that can be blended with eco-responsibility in an exciting way. She trademarked the term luxury eco™, becoming the first designer to create a luxury+eco lifestyle brand under one umbrella—all made from the sustainable fabrics that she researched and developed, targeted towards the most demanding luxury consumer. She began using organic textiles that are woven from natural sources like bamboo, SeaCell® (seaweed) and Ingeo™ (corn). She collected scraps of lace and other fine fabric remnants from European sources, and started weaving them into her fashions. She found a way to personalize the beauty of the earth through her designs, by honoring its natural gifts.

According to Loudermilk, nature is the original punk. Her inventive style packs an iconoclastic punch from noirish suits—to sculpturally sexy shift dresses—to jeans cut deadly on the hip. That flair for the dramatic comes innately to Loudermilk, who studied Shakespeare and costume design at Oxford University in England “one of the world’s leading academic institutions.” Loudermilk’s intuitive sense of tailoring, passed down from her couturier grandmother and experience as a sculptor is the very foundation from which she embellished upon in becoming what she is today. Linda’s fine designs are passionately hand finished and mostly made in the USA.

Beyond her revolutionary designs, Loudermilk is bringing together the global pioneers who are producing “green” and “gold” at the same time. By establishing the luxury eco™ Stamp of Approval, she seeks to identify those who are also breaking new ground in their respective fields. The emblem is a message to the consumer that the products or services are not only eco-friendly – but also superior in luxury quality, design and craftsmanship. It is the only Luxury Certification.

Loudermilk’s mission is to define every aspect of life as radically and decidedly eco-responsible. She is recognized as the first to identify and successfully market to the luxury eco™ consumer. Her extraordinary vision and commitment to research and product development have established her as an authority and positioned her company years ahead of the competition in understanding how to generate sustainable profits in this emerging market.

For Loudermilk, there is no question: change is inevitable. It is the only way to the future.

“The Linda Loudermilk brand is design with a higher purpose.”

Also check out this necklace:

In 2004 worldwide, 2.2 million deaths were attributed to unsafe water. Eco-fashion designer Linda Loudermilk is trying to raise awareness about water issues with her lovely water droplet necklace. Made from reclaimed silver, the old-fashioned faucet with a single glass drop of water encourages people to think about how vital water is to human life. With your purchase of the water droplet necklace, a generous donation will be made to the YEW Foundation to support organizations with clean water initiatives. $65 from Uncommon Goods.

She has also started the Loudermilk Institute for Sustainability.

If green fashion interests you, then check out the launch of the "Be Eco-Chic" Campaign during Fashion Week 2008. The Be EcoChic campaign raises consumer awareness of the environmental implications of our lifestyles and helps better inform people on smart choices for a healthier planet. Launched in partnership with the Sierra Club, the campaign is overseen by an advisory committee comprised of fashion and environmental leaders and is produced by Chandler Chicco Productions, LLP. The Be EcoChic campaign is sponsored by AVEENO, Continental, the LYCRA fiber brand, Mercedes-Benz USA and Neutrogena.

Photo by Starre Vartan.

Check out the Be Eco-Chic website, here.

And this great video from Fashion Week, produced by the Sierra Club --

Click here for slideshow: "Sustainable Fashion Takes Off With the Help of Supermodels, Designers, Celebrities and Greens."

Finally, here's Sierra Club Executive Director, Carl Pope's, take on the event, published on the Huffington Post, entitled "The Supermodel and Me."

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