Coolest Eco-Friendly Fashion Finds

September 20, 2011 12:14 PM

Saving the environment doesn’t mean you have to lose your commitment to style. These creations fuse recycled materials and vegan principles with green chic.

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Discarded to Divine was created by Sally Rosen at St. Vincent de Paul in San Francisco. Back in 2005, she came to realize that the discarded clothes, which would otherwise go to landfills, could be given another life with a bit of creativity. She invited designers to take a stab at transforming the discards into couture fashion and home decor.

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Each year, Rosen, along with an army of models, professional and aspiring designers designers, and volunteers organize the Discarded to Divine fashion show where these one-of-a-kind pieces made from old clothes, shower curtains, and tablecloths, destined for the trash go for auction.

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Past D2D designers include Christopher Collins (right), Jay Sario, and Sweet P

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In 2010 fashion lovers helped Discarded to Divine raise over $12,000. The money goes to the many valuable services Saint Vincent de Paul provides like rent assistance, medical aid, drug rehab, employment and shelter -- changing lives… and making rags into real riches.

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Tuan Tran Wirewear

Searching for recycled materials for his sculpture projects, San Francicso-based artist Tuan Tran was attracted to the variety of colors and textures of telephone wire. He envisioned them as a type of fabric, handcrafted for each wearer. Each of his 'wired' dresses is one of a kind with the form and color combination unique to the dress. Making dresses has been a natural extension of his artistic achievement due to his interest and fascination with the fashion industry and conservationism.

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Tuan Tran was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 1975. He began studying the ancient art of Ikebana 25 years ago, always bringing a new element such as a sculpture to his Ikebana creations. He conducts workshops and demonstrations of the Ikebana craft around the world.

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Created from recycled telephone and electrical wire, some dresses include recycled ribbon, and can be worn over wraps, tube tops, leotards and lingerie... or for the daring at heart -- bare skin. Malleable recycled wire comes in a myriad of colors, giving each dress its own unique shape and color.

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LED lights are integrated into some designs. The effect is celestial.

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Tuan Tran uses electrical wires to sculpt fashionable wire clutches. Check out his fashion portfolio online, and in select boutiques and exhibits in San Francisco.

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Kailia Footwear

Kailia Footwear was born out of a need for stylish and well-made eco-shoes for the modern woman. Designer Nancy Dong designs from her office in Bologna, Italy. She possesses the practicality of an American, with a keen eye for all things beautiful, adopted from living in France and Italy.

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(top to bottom) Bella, Paradiso, Nobilia

Pre-consumer recycled footboards and luxurious cruelty-free uppers offer the perfect pedigree to these delectable gifts for the feet. Kailia Footwear is available at Porto Boutique in San Francisco.

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Zansus Purses

Where Style meets sustainability! Carry a bag that matters. Zansus up-cycles waste, wastes nothing, and creates beautiful handbags.

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Zansus Purses is the brainchild of Sushanta Bhandarkar and Naz Saeed. This eco-minded pair rescue, re-use, re-purpose and recycle materials to make beautiful and amazingly hip handbags, purses, totes, clutches and wristlets.

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When you buy a Zansus creation,10% goes to an Environmental Educational Program called Empowering World Change, a non-profit that promotes environmental awareness in schools and communities. Zansus is available online and in select Bay Area boutiques.

Jan Mabry, Red Carpet Bay Area

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