Designers sketch for Runway to Green: runwaytogreen.com

Maybe they knew how to make their business more eco-friendly, maybe they didn’t. But most high end designers said that they wanted to learn how to do more – and then put a plan into action.
This was the basis for Runway to Green, an effort co-founded by former Anna Wintour assistant Luisa Mendoza, and designed to bring awareness of environmental issues to the world’s top fashion leaders. Every designer involved is committed to learning how to use more sustainable practices when it comes to manufacturing their garments. Based on the standards put forth by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Clean by Design initiative, the designers created responsible fashions that are sold internationally and benefit environmental causes.
Last month, 20 major fashion brands including Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Jason Wu, Rachel Roy, and Tommy Hilfiger, convened at Christie’s Green Auction for the Runway to Green fashion show, an event that raised $1.4 million for environmental organizations. The designers then took their items to an online auction, which helped bring total donations to $2.4 million.
runwaytogreen.com
Christie’s chairman Ed Dolman said, “[the] night’s success will support these venerable environmental organizations in conducting research and generating projects that will yield groundbreaking results for the present and future generations.” Those organizations include The Central Park Conservancy, Conservation International, NRDC, and Oceana.
As a whole, we are not about to walk around wearing fig leaves Adam and Eve style of course, although ever since meat dresses became the rage, you never know what could happen (Dasani recently threw a leaf dress fashion show). Organic lines such as Toms and American Apparel have been popping up for a while now. It’s interesting to see how luxury brands – who pride themselves on using the highest quality fabrics and manufacturing processes – adapt to the eco-friendly model.
Alberta Ferretti debuted Pure Threads with Emma Watson, an organic line inspired by English singer Jane Birkin. The online-only collection features bohemian-esque clothing made with organic cotton poplin, muslin, and hemp. Each are packaged in low impact materials. Proceeds of the line benefit the UK-based People Tree Foundation, which works with Fair Trade organizations to encourage sound business practices and resource sustainability around the world.
Pure Threads: ecouterre.com
Yves Saint Laurent did it with his time capsule collection “New Vintage” in 2009, and all of Stella McCartney’s fabrics are vegan. But large retailers such as H&M and Macy’s seem to have taken the green cue  more readily than luxury brands. This is a rare case where high-end designers are not leading the trend in fashion. But the preeminent question is, is there an audience for it in the luxury world? 
The answer, will likely stand in realization of what is considered elite wear and what is not. The more the organic trend becomes a global norm, the more everything else appears to be rive gauche. Yet however responsible it may seem, fashion designers who thrive on authenticity and traditional creative art forms may not truly embrace eco-wear until it has grown out of its trendy adolescence.