SAN FRANCISCO – Fashion designers of the future will be using the fabric of the future – organic cotton – at the Academy of Art College Fashion Department’s "Fashion ’99" show May 25 in San Francisco. The show, coordinated by illustrator and Department head Gladys Perint Palmer, will highlight organic cotton in women’s wear and other fine designs in what is the first of several international fashion shows featuring organic cotton on the catwalk. Organic cotton is cotton grown using a system of farming that builds healthy soils and a healthy environment.
By incorporating organic cotton into their product lines, the fashion industry will be honoring consumers’ preference for cotton and desire for stylish apparel choices along with their interest in the environment. A recent study conducted in San Francisco, Hong Kong, London, Paris and Mexico City by Paris-base Premier Vision’s International Observatory found that consumers are very interested in the environment.
"Fashion companies can integrate organic cotton into their product lines as 100 percent organic cotton fabric or by blending organic cotton with conventional cotton," says Will Allen, Executive Director of the Sustainable Cotton Project, a co-sponsor of "Fashion ’99." "Either way, companies can make important strides in encouraging a healthy environment by supporting organic agriculture."
A recent survey by the Organic Trade Association, also a co-sponsor of "Fashion ’99," shows that organic cotton was grown on almost 9,000 acres in five U.S. states last year, including California, Texas, Arizona, Missouri and New Mexico. In addition, it was grown in 18 countries worldwide in 1997.
Says Katherine DiMatteo, Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association, "By using organic cotton, the fashion industry can support a system of agriculture that meets the consumers’ desire to preserve, as well as enhance, the environment. This way, consumers are given a choice …the apparel they want to wear grown in harmony with the environment they want to preserve."
Both the Sustainable Cotton Project and Organic Trade Association have facilitated donations of organic fabric and personal care products to the Academy for "Fashion ’99." Donations from Organic Trade Association members include white and colored cotton grown in part by Sally Fox of Vreseis, Ltd. (Guinda, CA) and provided by Coyuchi (Point Reyes, CA), Specialty Fabrics (Kinnelon, NJ), Stonecutter Mills Corp./Mitchell Company (Spindale, NC) and the American Textile Export Company (AMTEC) (Gastonia, NC).
In addition, "Fashion ’99" attendees will receive copies of OTA’s Organic Cotton Directory, organic cotton T-shirts made by Certified Organic Products (Sausalito, CA), information on the Sustainable Cotton Project’s "Cleaner Cotton Campaign Tool Kit" and samples of organic cotton quilted rounds by Organic Essentials (O’Donnell, TX). The quilted rounds will also be used by the fashion models’ make-up artists.
"Fashion ‘99" coordinators are illustrator and department head Gladys Perint Palmer and assistant director Simon Ungless, both graduates of Central St. Martin’s School of Design in London. The show will be held May 25, 1999 at 4 and 7 p.m. at the new Academy of Art College warehouse showplace at 1535 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. The Sustainable Cotton Project and the Organic Trade Association will have information on organic cotton production and design at a booth at the show. "Fashion ‘99" can also be seen on the Internet at: www.academyart.edu (click on the "Fashion '99" graphic) after 6:30 p.m. May 25 for 30 days.
May 20, 1999
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