Today's Zaman: Eco-Design Thought Leaders

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Today's Zaman, a Turkish News Service highlights the most prominent names in eco-design:

Katherine Hamnett: The activist and English fashion designer Katherine Hamnett could be considered the pioneer of the eco-friendly fashion movement. She began in the 1990s with T-shirts of organic cotton, emblazoned with the slogan “Save the Future.” Introducing the fashion world to an important cause with this small step, she’s continued to move forward and develop larger collections. Her newest line bears the name “Ethical-Gold.”

Kirsty Hume: She might be best known for her long blond hair, but it is the importance of organic fabrics that Kirsty Hume is trying to introduce the world to. Hume says: “We are all responsible for the future of the world and we all can make a difference that would change the future of the universe. Using organic attire is a good start.” You can see Hume’s organic collection at

Edun: No stranger to activism, U2’s Bono has teamed up with his wife, Ali Hewson, and fashion designer Rogan Gregory to produce a fashion line that will benefit under-developed African nations. The line, called Edun, recently exhibited its new “Urban Cool” collection at New York Fashion Week. The clothes are made of Ugandan fabrics and are produced in Lesotho in an effort to stimulate self-sustainable employment.

Rogan Gregory: Not satisfied with just one chance to do his part in saving the planet, Rogan Gregory couples the fashion line he designed with Bono with some of his exclusive designs under the name “Loomstate.” He uses only organic cotton in his clothes to help make a positive impact on the environment. This summer’s collection, filled with sexy-comfortable styles, is available only at Barneys.

Summer Rayne Oakes: Every movement needs a leader and who better than Summer Rayne Oakes to be considered the “Queen of eco-style”? Model-designer Oakes is active in fighting the use of toxic dyes and chemicals in clothing. She chooses a much more elaborate array of replacements: silk, bamboo, even corn and sweet potatoes find their places as elements in her designs. Though her clothes make a loud statement on their own, Oakes lends more vocal support to the movement with TV programs and bulletins informing the public on how to be more environmentally friendly.

SANS: The name of this brand leaves no mistaking its mission to champion eco-friendly wear. The clothes created by New Yorkers Alessandro DeVito and Lika Volkova are as fashionable as they are environmentally sound. The designs made from cotton and eco fabrics such as are raw silk and soy, won the Ecco Domani prize this year, one of the most distinguished prizes in the eco world. Volkova, of Russian descent, highlights their goal to create ultra modern looks, drawing from her background as a designer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. SANS is a global company, gathering fabrics from countries across the world -- from Japanese cotton to Alpaca wool from Peru. There are even designs that transcend the ordinary, such as soy socks.

Linda Loudermilk: “Big ideas for our small planet” and “Change is inevitable” are two of the slogans that influence Linda Loudermilk’s designs. Loudermilk works to create clothes that could be called “Eco-Couture” or “Eco-Luxury” -- bringing high fashion style to fabrics such as moss and hemp.

Anna Cohen: Anna Cohen, who hails from one of the most environmentally conscious places in the world, Oregon State, has recently launched a line of trendy sport shoes produced in an eco-aware manner. The shoes incorporate such oddities as bamboo and are largely made from natural rubber from the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

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