Greener World: Argentina

Fashion has always been an art form that follows us wherever we go. Lest we are part of some nudist colony, each and every day we wake up and have to decide what it is that we will wear. Much of what we wear will determine how others perceive us, even though the notion that what is on the inside is what counts is constantly drummed into our brains from an early age. And yet, even still “you only have seven to 17 seconds of interacting with strangers before they form an opinion of you. Worse yet, it takes them three times as long to change their minds about you” (Marquette University, 2008). For those who think what they wear doesn’t matter should think again.

As with all ever-changing faucets of life, it is no wonder that fashion has become a topic of environmentalists worldwide. Sure, it’s great if people stand up to save the whales or if they recycle absolutely every product container that comes into their home, but what does all that matter if one doesn’t also take a bit of responsibility for the bits of material they wrap themselves in everyday? Why make a point to only use organic shampoo to wash hair when the very clothes being worn are made from materials that aren’t friendly to the environment?

“The phrase ‘Eco-friendly fashion’ is enough to strike fear into the heart of any self-respecting fashionista. Images of hippy-style hemp trousers with a suspiciously musty smell and jumpers that appear to have been crudely stitched from old burlap sacks come to mind” (Patrick, 2008). But that’s not the case for Argentina. This latin-flavoured country has begun to produce some of the most eco-friendly fashion items around the world.

Take Mestiza, for example. Making modern hand bags out of recycled Lycra originally used in a tights factory, this brand has become rather popular with more than just the “tree huggers.” “Mestiza follow socially as well as environmentally conscious practices in their production process. There is no factory; the products are quite literally home-made. [They] go to poor neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires and give women who can’t go out to work the chance to earn their own living from home” (Patrick, 2008). For more information on Mestiza, email: info@mestizaeco.com.ar

Indarra DTX is another eco-friendly fashion company in Argentina. Owned by a Julieta Gayoso, the company is known for its environmentally-friendly jackets. “These sleek jackets are made from eco-friendly materials, like Lyocell and bamboo fibers. FV Module Jacket, which comes with a solar panel attached to its back, is a fascinating piece of art. The panel attached to the jacket produces energy by absorbing the sunlight. The energy generated can be used to power your iPod or charge your cell phone” (Justa, 2009). Talk about mixing art with technology.

Finally, there is also a company by the name of Baumm. This unique company “creates hip messenger bags and wallets from the vinyl that is used in billboards” (Byrnes, 2009). As billboards are constantly on rotation with their ads, each used advertisement is simply rolled away and stored as it the campaign is over and the vinyl is toxic if burned. Baumm has become a company that not only makes one-of-a-kind products, but due to the innovativeness in using material no longer wanted, each of the bags are a bargain at around $30 each. Being eco-friendly has never been so easy on the wallet.

Living a ‘green’ lifestyle is a relatively new concept in Argentina, and the country is definitely behind in regards to education and implementation of environmentally-friendly policies, but that has started to change in recent years and as they are prone to do, many Argentines have embraced the idea with their typical gusto.

(Byrnes, 2009)

Bibliography

Byrnes, B. (2009, July 6). Reporter’s notebook: Eco-friendly fashion in Argentina. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/07/06/argentina.fashion.environment/index.html

Eco World. (2009, August 3). Eco Friendly Fashion. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from Eco World: http://www.ecoworld.com/products/argentina-goes-eco-friendly-with-fashion.html

Info Please. (2005). Argentina. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from Info Please: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107288.html

Justa, A. (2009, July 6). Eco-friendly fashion on the rise in Argentina. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from Green Diary: http://www.greendiary.com/entry/eco-friendly-fashion-on-the-rise-in-argentina/

Marquette University. (2008, September 3). ITSO GOOD. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from Marquette University: http://www.mu.edu/~owt/ITSO/ITSOV2No1.pdf

Patrick, J. (2008, December 2). Eco-Friendly Fashion – What’s not to Lycra? Retrieved February 6, 2012, from The Argentinia Independent: http://www.argentinaindependent.com/life-style/fashion/eco-friendly-fashion-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-not-to-lycra/

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