Lionhearts & Battle Cries: 20 Lines for 2010

by Joshua Katcher
featured on HintMag.com

Tevas with socks. Cargo Pants. Slogan tees. Let’s face it, people who care about ecosystems, animals, and worker’s rights aren’t typically celebrated for their sartorial poise. Likewise, most designers who care about form, function, and aesthetics aren’t typically known for their environmental wisdom or empathy; Fur coats, leather everything, toxic cotton, sweatshops.

There is new breed of designer, though, not so easily written off, who can turn old televisions into jaw-dropping shoes, who foster relationships with organic cotton farmers in developing countries, who invest in research and development of warm, biodegradable, recycled, cruelty-free textiles, whose aesthetic vision is not hampered by the challenges of navigating ethical dilemmas, and who – armed with tencel, lenpur, hemp, recycled fabrics, faux-fur, soda-bottle ultrasuede, and organics – aren’t afraid of challenging the tragic credo set by heritage brands.  In a culture where the iconography of the rebel is tied up in so many embarrassingly common and mainstream social, environmental and ethical muddles, these true iconoclasts are redefining cool, and reinvigorating the lost meaning of dressing like a dissident.

1. Vaute Couture. Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart is the prefect example of a designer who dreamed big. Her line went from a fantasy (gorgeous, eco, vegan winter coats that can handle Chicago in February) to reality. The line looks as amazing as it is warm and ethical; 100% Cruelty-free, sustainable, and fair-labor. Vaute Couture took over 8 months of fabric research and development and launched just last year, but has already garnered a host of celeb fanatics from Emily Deschanel, to Alicia Silverstone, and Ginnifer Goodwin. The men’s line launches August 2010. vautecouture.com

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Bassike Antipodean Staples

The latest from the Australian, organic line Bassike is a Lower East Side exemplification – which is suiting, because from NYC, Australia really is the global LES. We love the bold, graphic tees and their hooded button-downs in organic cotton. Fitted denim, stripes and short-sleeve cardigans can adorn the best preppy-rocker. Organic cotton makes these threads even cooler than they already were, and uses less than half the water that conventional cotton uses, and has a sixth of the carbon footprint.

https://i1.wp.com/www.bassike.com/verve/_resources/Bassike_shot_016_home_hero_image.jpg?resize=478%2C317longer line hooded shirt whitesequinned dot t.shirt

Fall Back in Style

Matt & Nat never disappoints. The new canvas collection is incredibly handsome, and made from recycled soda bottles, and recycled faux-suede lining. Better yet,  you can win one of these bags! Email Matt & Nat at blog@mattandnat.com before August 30th at midnight and tell them what MATT & NAT means to you in 250 words, the best men’s and women’s letters will win one of our new Fall 09 handbags.

fall09MattNat

Steve Alan presents some nice, basic, organic shirts. We love the black and white, single needle check shirt!

Detail in Black/ Ivory GinghamSingle Needle Organic

Reverse Seam OrganicReverse Seam Organic

These tapered organic cotton pants, slouch pants, and shirts from the Australian company, Bassike are not for the faint of heart. But those gents that have a love for cutting-edge trends, check these out!

http://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0021blk_01?Bassike%20Slim%20Tapered%20PantOversized V-Neck With Tail Graphitehttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0023blk_01?Bassike%20Slouch%20Panthttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0019grp_03?Bassike%20Tab%20Front%20T-shirthttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0001blk_03?Bassike%20Cellweave%20Throw

Arn Mercantile offers up an organic Peruvian cotton “chore jacket” and some comfy pullovers.

http://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/mer0010tan_01?Arn%20Mercantile%20Chore%20JacketArn Mercantile Pullover ShirtArn Mercantile Pullover Shirt

The Japanese company, Kato uses organic cotton from Zimbabwe to make these jackets and shirts.

http://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/kato0013khk_03?Kato%20Jacket

http://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/kat0008brn_03?Kato%20Plaid%20Washed%20Shirtinghttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/kat0007blu_03?Kato%20Plaid%20Washed%20ShirtOrganic Cotton Chambray Shirt