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"The fashion industry’s acceptance of the need to address environmental concerns in design is still in its early days. Only two years ago, Melissa Joy Manning, attending her first meeting of the Council of Fashion Designers of America as a new member, raised her hand and asked with a red face what the council was doing to promote sustainability. There were blank stares, but a few designers approached her later and formed a committee on the subject this year.
Ms. Manning recalled this moment on Tuesday at a lunch to announce the winners of an 'eco-fashion challenge,' an award that Lexus and the fashion council created in 2010 to support designers who demonstrate a commitment to ecologically responsible design. And there is a growing field, as a full room of designers and journalists turned up for the event (and by no means because it was at ABC Kitchen).
So Amber Valletta, who introduced an online business this year called Master & Muse that is dedicated to such designers, was clearly speaking to the converted when she said, 'I find a disconnect between the pleasure of buying and wearing stylish clothing and the reality of what it takes to produce those clothes.'
Two prizes of $5,000 each were awarded, one to Mark Davis, a jewelry designer, and the other to Britt Cosgrove and Marina Polo of Svilu. The $75,000 grand prize went to Natalie Chanin, of Alabama Chanin, who probably is the greenest designer there is, having produced fashion from recycled fabrics for over a decade."