I don’t know what you think about when you think “green fashion,” but when I agreed to go to the Bagtrends.com Green Arm Candy Party, I was expecting a lot of almost trendy, almost well-dressed vendors ready with spiels designed to guilt me into buying embroidered Velcro wallets made of hemp, or all-natural skincare items that smell like rotting herbs due to their lack of preservatives. I was half wrong about the products (the wallets were made of corn), but totally wrong about the vendors’ attitudes and the clientele they attracted.
I chatted about Cirque du Soleil with a stunning woman wearing a 5-ft long feather attached to a tiny fascinator pinned to her head; I discussed a mutual unwillingness to sacrifice style for someone else’s idea of “eco-friendly” with the dapper Jonn Nubian of Vicelounge; and I nervously asked a very kind man in an eye patch to scout out the FEED bag table for me to see if the girl sitting there was, in fact, Lauren Bush. It was, and she was so sweet and genuine about the FEED bag mission, even when I drunkenly marched over and announced that, due to a 5-year long stint in China, I had no idea who she was but was interested in hearing more about the bag. And when I complimented her acai berry bracelet, she gave it to me! Squee!
In fact, most of the company representatives in attendance seemed genuine about their products, and their enthusiasm rubbed off. I want RuMe reusable shopping bags! I want glittery purple Jane Iredale eyeshadow! I want a Teich bag made of deer hides collected from hunters who discard them! I want a clutch made from inner tubes that have gone through a 7-step production process! I want to buy a reversible FEED bag and send Plumpy’nut to starving children in third world countries!
The open bar didn’t hurt either, when it came to getting shoppers in the mood to spend. And when we needed rest, we were invited to partake in complimentary manicures, courtesy of Dr.’s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish. I also had some interesting, grassy-smelling serum rubbed into the back of my hand and a fair way up my arm for what seemed like an uncomfortable amount of time.
The whole night was a success, but it did leave me with some lingering questions. Like Nubian pointed out, you can’t always be sure what it means when companies claim to be eco-friendly. In dry cleaning, the difference between the chemicals used regularly and the ones used in organic cleaning can be very small because technically, the word “organic” refers to things or chemicals that are carbon-based, not necessarily ones that are beneficial for the earth. Similarly, these eco-friendly handbags and cosmetics are great, but isn’t it more eco-friendly to just stop buying?