Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Designer T-shirts are up for grabs at tonight's green gala

Word in fashion is that "green is the new black," referring to the trend of heightened environmental awareness among socialites — and the companies that market to them.

Green thinking is rapidly infiltrating the consumer-driven fashion world, with the help of a few high-profile pioneers.

Luxury retailers like Barney's of New York are embracing green-leaning brands, and a growing legion of celebrities, models and fashion-conscious hipsters are extolling the virtues of reusable shopping bags and organic cotton, while shunning their chemical and waste-intensive counterparts.

It's fitting, then, that ADASA, a progressive designer boutique and e-tailer that recently opened Hawai'i's first "E-Concept Boutique" should lead the local fashion pack in adopting a green mentality.

ADASA owner Donna Loren, a modern flower child with a keen business and fashion sense, exudes earnestness as she discusses the subject. "We really want to promote and raise awareness for environmental and social causes through fashion," she said. "ADASA is committed to reducing the impact of its business, and supporting designers and organizations that help the planet."

Most recently, Loren scooped up a collection of 12 T-shirt designs (10 women's and 2 men's) from eco-fashion organization Limited Edition New York.

The L.E.N.Y. shirts are designed by style icons such as Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow and Diane von Furstenberg and produced by British label Buddhist Punk. The lion's share of the $198 sticker price benefits Al Gore's Climate Project, an organization dedicated to educating the public on global warming. They have been snapped up by chic boutiques the world over, from Harvey Nichols in London to New York's Intermix and Colette in Paris.

Today, the limited-edition shirts will be up for grabs at a special edition of Honolulu Green Drinks, and two will be given away as door prizes.

Held monthly at E&O Trading Co., Green Drinks provides an informal atmosphere for eco-minded people from all sectors of business and the community to socialize and network.

ADASA is sponsoring this month's event to convey the message that retailers and consumers can effect change through conscious fashion choices. If the concept takes, ADASA plans to pursue other cause-based fashion initiatives; Loren hinted that she's already scoping lines whose proceeds tackle poverty and violence.