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“Eco-Fashion: Going Green” now on view at FIT

New York Dress Institute, evening dress, red rayon with rhinestones and beads, 1940, USA, gift of Mrs. Harold E. Thompson.

The evolution of today’s eco-fashion movement
The exhibit, Eco-Fashion: Going Green, is currently on view at The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City) in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery through November 13, 2010. In amazing detail the exhibition explores 250 years of the evolution of the fashion industry’s multi-faceted, complex relationship with the environment. By examining the past two centuries of fashion’s good and bad environmental and ethical practices, Eco-Fashion: Going Green provides historical context for today’s eco-fashion movement. 

More than 100 garments and other items on display
Presented chronologically and featuring more than 100 garments, accessories, and textiles, the exhibition uses contemporary methods for “going green” as a framework to study the past. Each object or garment on display touches on at least one of the following six major themes:

* The repurposing and recycling of materials
* Material origins
* Textile dyeing and production
* Quality of craftsmanship
* Labor practices
* The treatment of animals

The exhibition features some of the finest examples of 21st-century sustainable fashions by current, cutting-edge labels, including Alabama Chanin, Ciel, Edun, FIN, and NOIR. 

Talk and Tour available
If you want to learn even more about the subject, the Gallery is offering a choice of Talk and Tour activities in which visitors join co-curators Jennifer Farley and Colleen Hill on a personalized tour of the exhibition. Jennifer and Colleen will answer visitor questions and give additional insight regarding the topic. Talk and Tours are filling fast, but there are openings on the following dates:

Wednesday, July 14, at 10:30 am
Monday, July 26, at 6:00 pm
Wednesday, August 11, at 10:30 am
Monday, August 23, at 6:00 pm

Registration is required; Call 212.217.4585 or send an email to [email protected].

The Fashion and Textile History Gallery presents biannual exhibitions examining aspects of the past 250 years of fashion. Exhibitions are curated exclusively from The Museum at FIT’s extensive collection, and the topics are always of interest to anyone with an interest in fashion.

If you’ve attended this or any of the previous Fashion and Textile History Gallery’s exhibits at FIT, please tell us how you enjoyed the exhibit.


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  1. Sewsie | | #1

    What's so "green" about polyester? It's a petroleum product. Can you say "BP?"

    Wikipedia says: "Polyester is a synthetic polymer made of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) or its dimethyl ester dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and monoethylene glycol (MEG). With 18% market share of all plastic materials produced, it ranges third after polyethylene (33.5%) and polypropylene (19.5%)."

    While polyesters may occur naturally in nature, the word as it applies to fabric generally means "synthetic."

    Is the fabric repurposed or reused?

  2. Sewsie | | #2

    sorry about the redundancy "naturally in nature." DOH!

  3. User avater
    wicked_stitcher | | #3

    tried to see this last weekend in NYC. went there from Philadelphia. the surly museum guard barked that the gallery does not open until noon! a good thing to mention when discussing an exhibition, so others can avoid similar disappointment.

  4. User avater
    Nashrunner | | #4

    We have a lovely exhibit here in Nashville at our Frist Center for the Visual Arts, entitled The Golden Age of Couture, featuring clothes, shoes and photographs from designers like Dior, Balenciaga and Chanel from post WWII to near present. Parts of the exhibit can be seen online at http://www.fristcenter.org Who knew you could find this in Nashville? The Frist is on the "high" end of Broadway so it was pretty much spared from our recent flooding.

  5. User avater
    4rebecca | | #5

    Where can I get a pattern?? This looks like it would make a nice tunic to wear to work next winter.

  6. athenacsr | | #6

    this is a great idea and helpful. i'm a fan of eco fashion and also collecting homemade bags. you can check it at
    Go Eco Fashion!

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