The Sustainable Angle and Organic - Sustainable Fabrics for a Better World
"Almost every day I'm wearing some of the organic cotton t-shirts I've had for years from John Patrick Organic - such good quality. John Patrick is a pioneer and trailblazer. He not only talked about sustainability in materials decades ago, but actually worked with such materials in his collections long before it became a buzzword."
- Nina Marenzi, Founder of The Sustainable Angle
The journey of discovery and learning that accompanied my development of the Organic brand since 2003 has come with many incredible encounters. in 2009, I was introduced to Nina Marenzi, who is based in London. She came to New York and we had an intense lunch, with each one of us asking the other "how, what, when, why." She was in the process of establishing a "library" that would identify and showcase an assortment of organic, recycled, and ethically-produced, sustainable fabrics that "fit into our world."
I shared many ideas with her and she with me about how to alter and direct the course of the fashion industry. Nina had for many years worn beautiful, designer clothing. She then had an epiphany in regards to sustainability, and began to insist on personal apparel that was anything but extravagant. Her clothing would remain beautiful, of course, but also became more humble and humane.
Her library and showcase began as "an effort to improve the visibility of innovative textiles and materials for fashion with a reduced environmental impact." She initiated the effort through a rigorous campaign to contact and meet as many prominent personages in the fashion as she possibly could. As Nina strove to learn more about industry practices and sustainable fabrics, she left no stone unturned. Around this period of infancy and development of what would become the Sustainable Angle, I had the pleasure to visit her in London and stay at her home. There, I observed the frenetic activity and commitment - a workload that would have seemed heavy for four people - that Nina maintained throughout this exciting time.
The Sustainable Angle now works globally to educate and inform people - both fashion professionals and everyday shoppers - about the textile industry and sustainability. This occurs both in regards to companies that produce and employ sustainable fabrics, and also the negative effects of irresponsibility in this regard.
Today, Nina serves as the director of a truly world-class resource that provides free use and incredible programming to anyone interested in discovering how the world of fashion can align with efforts for a healthier planet.
Nina chose to dedicate herself to her library because she believes in it and the benefits it can provide. Today, it is an established non-profit, the Sustainable Angle, physically based in London. Its online presence presents a great resource for designers and creatives across many industries. It deserves to be more widely known outside the world of fashion, because our industry has a tremendously powerful effect not only on our visual relationship with the world, but also on the environment.
I am looking forward to seeing both Nina and the library later this year. I am thrilled that today there exists such a transparent and ethical way to support and present the existence of sustainable textiles, and that Nina's efforts continue to thrive.