Style expert Gretta Monahan shared several looks on Thursday's "Early Show" that are both eco-friendly and fashionable.
But why is organic clothing more expensive than other clothing?
Monahan said, "The thing about most organic clothing is that when you manufacture by hand small quantities, the process to be responsible and conscience is far more labor intensive which translates into more expense. The other big issue is that there was no demand before-so fewer pieces were being made, but now we're seeing more mass retailers embrace the organic idea and with mass-production comes lower pricing."
Monahan said a formal definition of "eco-friendly" doesn't exist. However, she added, "The only thing we do know is that it's no longer just about hemp. It has a greater meaning, it involves a human and working environment, and it matters how things are recycled.
She said there are now three main things that determine if something is eco-friendly:
1. The fabrics-what is being used, is it recyclable, where is it from
2. The people-no sweatshops or inhumane facilities for workers
3. The environment
"When we say something is eco-friendly, it is about a lifestyle," Monahan said. "It used to be about a niche item that was more crusty, today it's about making smart choices, using materials that make up an ecosystem, green is truly on the scene. You can really be chic and not compromise your personal environmental choices."
The looks featured on "The Early Show":
Model #1 - Work-Appropriate Look
Demonstrating all three points that make up an eco-friendly fashionable look: It's luxury, but sourced from organic means, no factories, and no sweatshops.
Light palettes are really big for spring and summer. This cut is super flattering; it's modern, drape for spring fashion for every body type.
-Jewelry-go bold with gold and heavy metals for contrast.
Model#2 - Weekend Look
H&M garden collection
This is colorful and on-trend. This look shows that a palette of creams and greens are not your only choices; you can really go with vibrant colors.
H&M has shown an ability to be on trend with florals with a green collection. This garden collection, which is inspired by the natural flowing fabrics, that are so hot for the warmer weather right now. Paper bag shorts are a really big trend on the runway
Model #3 - Men's Eco-Look
Men's eco-chic is all about the use of fabrics that breathe. Loomstate Organic is a brand that launched in New York City in 2004 by designer Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn. It was founded as a casual brand dedicated to creating demand for certified organic cotton.
Using socially and environmentally responsible methods of production, Loomstate men's and women's collections are inspired by the roots of classic American casual style born of the positivity and activism of youth subcultures over the past 40 years. Updated through modern fits, constructions, uncompromised attention to detail, and rendered in the highest quality and most comfortable 100 percent certified organic materials. Each piece is created to have lived-in character and comfort, from washed and softened fabrics to tumbled and aged hardware, achieving timeless style rooted in environmental and social sustainability.
Toms Shoes are a great brand that follows the eco-chic mandate for both men and women. Toms Shoes was founded on a simple premise: with every pair you purchase, Toms will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we're all about. The Toms one-for-one business model transforms our customers into benefactors, which allows us to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support.
Model #4 - Women's Cocktail Look
H&M garden collection
With this look it is proof that being eco conscious doesn't mean you can't be sexy and stylish. This little cocktail dress is perfect for a night on the town.
Nudes are huge for spring, and this dress is completely on trend. This is made of a heavy fabric with lots of details that prove eco-chic is in full effect.
Model #5 - Eco Wedding Dress
Green weddings are a hot eco-trend right now and this dress falls right in line. This dress showcases that eco-fashion can also be a part of some of the most important, formal parts of your life. This dress is perfect for the bride who cares about the world in which she lives. This dress is by Adele Wechsler who is a designer popular with the celebrity set. It is part of a collection with an eco-conscience. It follows three very important rules in sustainable clothing: minimal carbon footprint, customized on organic fabrics-breathability, there are no sewing machines used.
• By Adele Wechsler