Style: Critical Mass

By Starre Vartan

Critical Mass JCPenney has taken its time going green, but the upside is that the 106-year-old retailer seems to have learned from others’ mistakes. Among its basic standards of environmental responsibility are strict renewability and recyclability requirements for all labeled products, and its organic cotton clothes (labeled simply green) must have at least 70 percent organic materials. Look for printed tees and denim for teens, shorts and button-downs for guys, and towels, blankets, and sheets by various companies. Style-wise it’s not such an improvement; maybe their eco-consultant Danny Seo can banish those Midwestern cuts ... Perfume bottles collecting dust? Unless they’re all glass (most aren’t), they can’t be recycled curbside. But now Saks Fifth Avenue will take any perfume bottle and promises to recycle it. (no word on if they’ll take bottles full to the brim with chemical-laden, nasally offensive toilet water your mother-inlaw gifted you) ... Armani and Versace are using Ingeo in their new collections, but that doesn’t mean that the clothes will go hippie, just that they’ll be sexy-revealing and eventually biodegrade, saving future generations from the embarrassment of “butt cleavage” ... John Patrick Organic is one of ten 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award finalists. the winner, who will receive up to $200,000 (ostensibly to be used for design development), will be announced in November ... Celine Cousteau (granddaughter of Jacques) is the new face of French luxury skin-care line la Prairie’s Advanced Marine Biology, which grows marine plants on land for its products in a system called mariponics. Cousteau says growing these plants sur la terre is a more “responsible use ... without endangering [the ocean’s] precious ecosystem.”

Issue 25

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