The words "green," "local," and "eco-friendly" usually bring to mind images of Priuses, canvas bag-clad grocery shoppers, and well, the previous life of the food on my dinner plate. Sadly, I sometimes associate fashion (as much as I love it) with words like "extravagance" and "waste" (particularly when the guilt sets in after I've dropped two-hundo on those new Dior sunglasses...sigh).
Not so with Philly's own SA VA, an affordable, stylish, and yes, green fashion label and retailer, whose 17th and Sansom Street outpost opened almost a year ago. The store features CEO Sarah Van Aken’s ready-to-wear apparel, custom jewelry, and both local and fair trade accessories, most of which are produced here in the Philly area. Plus, Van Aken created twenty area manufacturing jobs simply by hiring and training a team of local seamstresses and tailors to work in the loft above her Sansom showroom. Cool!
Aside from SA VA’s commitment to the environment, Van Aken also wanted her company to involve customers in the design process. There’s an interactive website that allows you to try your hand—er, mouse—at the design process by contributing tear sheets of what you want your clothes to look like, as well as a blog that can help you answer all of your most dire fashion questions.
Now that you know all about SA VA, check out the goods for yourself at the first LOVE Park Fashion Show, to be produced by the company. The event will take place on Saturday, June 19th, from 6-8pm, and it’s free and open to the public. It’ll be fun, and it’ll make you feel phantastic about Philly’s commitment to the environment.