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Ethic and Moral Fibers

Eco-friendly is the new trendy, and would-be hipsters are feeling the pressure to conform. The most preferred cosmetics are 100% organic, free of endangered plant species, preservatives and petrochemicals, and of course, not tested on animals.

With ethic chic, it’s the celebrities that are making the difference; Bono, his wife Ali Hewson and designer Rogan Gregory launched a socially conscious fashion label, ‘Edun,’ and now they’ve launched Project Red – an “ecologically sound” collaboration between Armani, Amex, Converse, Motorola and Gap.

Project Red’s spokes-celebrity is Scarlett Johansson, who appeared last year in Vogue wearing Armani’s contribution to the Edun cause. “We don’t have to live in a teepee and wear a hemp skirt to be conscious about what’s going on,” she told Vogue.

Vegan values may not be entirely main-stream yet, but vegan style has made it. Chain-stores like Whole Foods, boutiques like Moo Shoes and Pangea, and eco-minded labels like Moral Fiber, Real Fake and Novacas (‘no cows’) are encouraging shoppers to choose cruelty-free.

Vegans (who refuse to eat, use or wear anything with animal-sourced material) strive for a way of life that is non-injurous to both animals and the environment. For health and conscience, they avoid leather, wool, silk, and processing by animal-sourced materials – this includes animal-based glues and dyes.

Clothes and accessories once shunned for their aura of daggy-hippy have now become luxury. Even if shoppers don’t embrace the vegan precepts of rejecting animal products in diet and lifestyle, ‘vegan chic’ is a marketing success.

With successful ethic-chic brands like Linda Loudermilk, Matt & Nat, and now H&M and Levi’s, you don’t have to join the ‘hemp brigade’ to keep it kind.

With Stella McCartney’s thrift designer lines for Target stores coinciding with the online launch of Care, we may just be able to afford joining the ethical elite. It’s a healthy trend; green is the new black.