Fashionably Green

Jewel McFadden
February 8, 2012
Filed under Fashion

All that glitters is not gold, or green for that matter. Nancy Atkins and Mary Savoca are hoping to do something about that. The mother-daughter team founded Nancy’s Gone Green, an environmentally-friendly online boutique based in Framingham, MA.

Nancy and Mary first embarked on a green path by shopping at local flea markets and vintage clothing stores. After acquiring an impressive array of secondhand garments, they began selling pieces from their personal collections. The twosome quickly became eBay favorites to style seekers. Reeling from a high demand, Nancy decided to launch NancysGoneGreen.com in 2008.

In addition to pre-owned items, the virtual boutique sells all-natural cosmetics, accessories and shoes for women and children- all of which are easy on the earth.

According to Technical Textile Markets, a quarterly publication providing market data for modern-day textile industries, demand for man-made fibers such as polyester has nearly doubled over the past 15 years. The manufacturing of polyester and other synthetic fabrics requires large amounts of crude oil and processing techniques that involve harmful chemicals such as hydrogen chloride which are emitted into the air and water.

When selecting new products to retail, NGG looks for organic, sustainable or recycled materials. And because the method used is just as important as the end product, they also examine the seller’s production process to make sure there is little environmental impact.

“…We believe that caring for the earth includes caring for the people who inhabit it. We’re committed to only buying from sweatshop-free companies who pay fair wages. Our mantra is green and fair…we promise that the companies we work with are fully committed to the environmental and fair labor movements. They’re motivated by so much more than profits – they want to change this industry for the better,” says NGG’s website.

The term is called “fast fashion,” and society pays a high price for cheap fashion. In modern times it’s the norm to produce mass clothing quickly to capture current trends in fashion. The unfortunate result is not just the lack of emphasis on quality, but also unfair labor.

The Clean Clothes Campaign sat down with garment workers in China where they described the pressures of fast fashion. “We have endless overtime in the peak season and we sit working non-stop for 13 to 14 hours a day. It’s like this every day – we sew and sew without a break until our arms feel sore and stiff.”

Wal-Mart and other mega-retailers have been accused of exploiting workers with inhumane working conditions and insufficient wages. Mary admits that due to their ethics and standards, NGG may not be your cheapest option, but they are trying to be your best option.

Nancy and Mary promise to keep at least half of their inventory priced under $50. Better yet, if you see an identical product selling for less on another site, NGG will beat that price by 5 percent and “…the price tag you see reflects real value. Higher prices translate into spectacular design, lasting quality, and impeccable environmental standards. Always.”

One of many beautiful finds you can uncover in the NGG boutique is a secondhand vintage Gucci scarf, made of 100 percent silk. NGG gives you a taste of luxury for just $46. Similar scarves bought directly from Gucci’s online retailer will set you back over $300.

Other great brands NGG features are Global Girlfriend which helps women gain economic security by providing a market for their handmade goods. Urthbags is a fan favorite which offers one-of-a-kind handbags made from recycled and biodegradable materials such as seashells.

When you buy any product from NGG you will notice that consideration for the planet is not forgotten down to the very last step. All items shipped out to customers are in recycled shipping materials and minimum packaging to reduce waste.

The stylish pair is part of a movement that recognizes the desperate need to protect the earth that gives so much back. NGG says its mission is simple- “to make our world a little bit more beautiful, every day.”

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