Within the past decade, there has been a shift in the manufacture of clothing and how and where it’s actually produced. Fashion designers and environmental enthusiasts have decided to take a stand not only for fashion, but also for the environment. Many designers have transformed their design aesthetic accordingly and in the past year there has been more sustainable change in fashion than ever before. But Elise Ballegeer is one of those designers who has kept the environment in mind from the very beginning, creating clothing that is chic and elegant yet eco-friendly.Even though Elise Ballegeer is a New York fashion designer currently based in Berlin, Germany, she sometimes sources fabric from India. With her international approach, she still opts to use the best and organic fabrics to produce the most preeminent sustainable fashion possible.Before creating her brand, Ballegeer worked with prominent design houses including Calvin Klein, Proenza Schouler and Zac Posen; and now she is using her acquired design skills and techniques to create her very own eponymous label. In Ballegeer’s new Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 collection Faultlines, we see designs that are both trendy and fashionable- button-down shirts, tunic style dresses, and cropped tanks layered with collar shirts paired with various trousers and flared skirts. The color palette is a play on soft and light, with dark blue hues contrasted with beige, white, and gray to add balance to the soft collection. Ballegeer also used a mixture of organic cotton and hemp, even though hemp hasn’t always been deemed the best fabric for production.
Ballegeer explains her choice of fabric:
“I know hemp has had a rough image in the past, but the new fabric developments are remarkable, with an unbelievably soft hand… Hemp is usually planted on the borders of organic farms because it acts as a natural herbicide/pesticide for crops… And it replenishes the soil, so it’s a win-win for the farmers, the land, and the apparel.”
With her contrasting color technique, sleek artistry, and minimalistic approach, Ballegeer is well on her way to standing alongside the designers she once worked for. Ballegger stated that she pays her employee’s fair wages and even invites them to her fashion shows as a sign of appreciation and to see the end result. Elise Ballegeer has not only proven to be an eco-friendly designer, she has also proven to be a very respectable leader for the environment with her social responsibility and green savviness.