Going Green in Style

Amy Julian

Interested in doing your part in the war against global warming and environmental woes, but don’t want to compromise your style by wearing a potato sack? There has been a surge in eco-friendly, stylish fashions and they are popping up all over college campuses.

Being such a strong school in the fight for sustainability, it’s worthwhile for students to consider investing in products made from organic and recycled materials. Now does this mean you have to wear aluminum cans on your feet or style you hair with compost? Not thanks to several companies that have combined their love of fashion and their initiative to do their part in creating and sustaining a livable planet. Here are a few companies that offer stylish, environmentally responsible, and affordable products for a student budget.

Remember: You don’t have to sabotage your budget or the environment to look good.

Amy Julian can be reached at [email protected]

RebagzThis new line of trendy eco-conscious handbags are all the rage with the Hollywood A-list crowd and have been flying off the shelves. With a whole line of totes, wallets, handbags, laptop bags, and backpacks, Rebagz are made from recycled juice packs and rice bags. The bags are one of the highest-selling items at high-end retailer Fred Segal in L.A. and can also be found closer to home. You can find Rebagz at the Museum of Science gift shop, Buried Treasures, and Fiddlehead (all of Boston). Before you dismiss your ability to pay for the same designer handbag as Angelina Jolie and America Ferrera (said to be fans of the brand), consider the fact that Rebagz items start at only $15! Fave Find: Silver Small-tie Tote, $60.

Alternative ApparelThis online clothing and accessory shop touts itself as a “cruelty free and vegan boutique.” The products sold are 100% vegan; this means that all the leather, fur, and suede used is faux. While many imitation leather products lack the luster of the real thing, Alternative Apparel makes sure they don’t swap quality for compassion. All of the products sold are well made and fashionable and can fit into any college student’s budget. Fave Find: Herbivore Women’s Cowhugger Tee, $25.

American ApparelPerhaps the Mecca of eco-friendly/budget-conscious fashions, American Apparel boasts fantastic buys and the cutest styles. Find basics like t-shirts and leggings for a fraction of what you would pay at big name stores; American Apparel offers only the best in organic, quality clothing and accessories for men and women. Visit them on the web or at their Cambridge location on Brattle Street (psst: a Newbury Street location is said to be coming soon!) This is THE place for the fashionista looking to save money and the Earth (and look fabulous while doing both!) Fave Find: Baby Rib Pocket Frock, $38.

Certified JeansFor those who revel in a nice pair of jeans, Certified Jeans, an online retailer, offers 100% organic, USA-made jeans that are softer than a baby’s you-know-what. The jeans are made with absolutely no chemicals and only with cotton that has been grown organically. The company offers both men and women’s jeans, which are available in all lengths and sizes and a variety of lightweight washes. Perfect for short girls (like me) or tall girls who often have a hard time finding the perfect length and fit. Fave Find: indigo cotton denim with 1% spandex in natural, $70.