Rogan Gregory is the New York-based designer behind Edun, a socially conscious clothing range co-created and backed by Ali Hewson and her rock-star husband, Bono. Now in its second year, the collection – featuring signature floral graphics, which this spring give a nod to Art Nouveau – is enjoying international success in high-end stores from Selfridges, London to Barney’s, New York.
Each item of clothing is printed with text explaining the garment’s origins and the process and people behind its creation.
Leading the charge for change in an industry rife with sustainability issues, Gregory and his celebrity pals are pioneering a more responsible approach to fashion by creating sustainable employment in the developing world. Swapping aid for trade is the aim, say Edun’s creators, who are producing the range from of locally run factories in South America, India and Africa – all of which have been personally inspected and approved by the Edun team.
In addition to being socially aware, the Edun range adds weight to the international rise of the organic movement. Organic is no longer just about what we eat. We’re using organic beauty products and fitting our homes with products made from sustainable resources. Now, thanks to Edun, we can wear organic too.
Organic cotton and denim – and for spring, the introduction of organic silk – is the mainstay of the collection, which employs natural dye processes using vegetables, plants and insects. And if you’re thinking organic equals prickly hippie hemp, take a step into the 21st century, where comfort and, above all, style are the key drivers of the new responsible fashion philosophy.
Gregory says he puts design first when it comes to his clothing ranges: he has his own successful premium organic denim collection, Loomstate, and a bespoke suit line, A Litl Betr. The aim, says the designer, is to appeal to a person’s sense of style first, with the added benefit being that they’re helping the environment or cotton producers in Africa. While the organic philosophy is embedded in Edun’s production processes, Gregory places importance on appealing to customers who may not understand organic – which is why the design level is key, so that it has broad appeal.
For those who do want to find out more about the story behind their Edun shirt, dress or jeans, each item of clothing is printed with text explaining the garment’s origins and the process and people behind its creation.
While the spring 2007 collection features soft-structured, laundered jackets for men, bright retro blue denim jeans and printed silk tops for women, Gregory is already looking ahead to what we’ll be wearing in the future. Expect more organic fabrics of better quality not just from Edun but across the whole fashion industry. In terms of styling, look for more straight leg jeans, retro washes and, from Edun in particular, nature inspired prints. BOND
From Bond Issue Zero. Edun is available in fine stores worldwide. For a shop list or to purchase online, visit the Edun website, edunonline.com.
WORDS VERITY MAGDALINO