NYFW: Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic

Goodlifer: NYFW: Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic

On the final day of The GreenShows during New York Fashion Week, Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic showed their new collections. It is technically Fall/Winter, but the House of Organic does not really depend on the seasons the way the big fashion houses do; they don’t even depend on trends. The ethereal, fair made creations are as timeless as they are beautiful.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic is a collective of like-minded designers, all deeply dedicated to sustainability. This show featured work of founder Johanna Hofring, her huband Tor Söderin, Renata Mann, Kaori Yamazaki, Mika Machida, Jennifer Wen Ma, Meiling Chen and Eko-Lab, another design collective closely affiliated with the House of Organic.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic, chrochet dress by Meiling Chen and angora head piece by Tor Söderin.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic, chrochet dress by Meiling Chen and angora head piece by Tor Söderin.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: square top painted by Jennifer Wan Ma by Eko-Lab. Right: sweater painted by Jennifer Wan Ma and necklace and leggings by Eko-Lab.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: square top painted by Jennifer Wan Ma by Eko-Lab. Right: sweater painted by Jennifer Wan Ma and necklace and leggings by Eko-Lab.

I love Ekovaruhuset, not only because I share a motherland and first name with founder Johanna Hofring, but because they are one of the most conscious fashion houses out there. All the clothes are made in the most natural way, using all organic materials. This means the fibers that the fabrics are made of have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and made into fabric, then dyed in facilities that are environmentally responsible. There are a few exceptions, such as zippers, some buttons, threads and ink for printing, because these are areas that have not yet been perfected. (Ekovaruhuset designers are always looking for better alternatives, please contact them if you know of any.) The wool comes from animals that have been treated well and have never had to experience chemical baths or other torturous methods. It is all organic and most of it is certified (some comes from small producers that are closely monitored to ensure they always work according to organic guidelines).

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: linen jersey wedding gown with crochet and feathers by Johanna Hofring and necklace by Renata Mann. Right: cotton blouse with crochet chest and shorts by Johanna Hofring.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: linen jersey wedding gown with crochet and feathers by Johanna Hofring and necklace by Renata Mann (on eco supermodel Summer Rayne Oakes). Right: cotton blouse with crochet chest and shorts by Johanna Hofring.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic, button-up dress painted by Jennifer Wan Ma by Eko-Lab.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic, button-up dress painted by Jennifer Wan Ma by Eko-Lab.

“I was designing and making clothes for as long as I can remember. I always enjoyed this a lot, but it was a few years ago when I first started using only organic materials and opened Ekovaruhuset in Stockholm that it got really exciting,” says Hofring. “Like most of us, I had no idea what kind of effect the textile industry has on the environment. I had heard a story or two about mistreated workers in sewing factories, but had never been able to grasp the amount of violations against human rights and our earth that are committed in the name of vanity and profit.”

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: wool dress with printed cranes by Mika Machida. Right: wool scarf with mother of pearl sequins and cut out wool belt by Eko-Lab.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: midnight blue linen jersey dress with crochet neck by Johanna Hofring. Right: yellow dress with crochet by Eko-Lab.

Ekovaruhuset uses the term “Fair Made” which, along the lines of “Fair Trade,” means that they support producers that practice fair working conditions and ethics for their employees, as well also encourage and support smaller scale local production units, as this makes for better communication and cooperation.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: black canvas coat with crochet and recycled glass embellishment by Eko-Lab. Right: wool coat by Meiling Chen and knit necklaces by Renata Mann.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic. Left: black canvas coat with crochet and recycled glass embellishment by Eko-Lab. Right: wool coat by Meiling Chen and knit necklaces by Renata Mann.

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic designers, from left: Jennifer Wan Ma, Renata Mann, Mika Machida, Melissa Kirgan, Johanna Hofring and Xing-Zheng Chung

Ekovaruhuset / House of Organic designers, from left: Jennifer Wan Ma, Renata Mann, Mika Machida, Melissa Kirgan, Johanna Hofring and Xing-Zheng Chung

Says Johanna Hofring: “Of course I want beautiful clothes… but at what price? I don’t believe many people would enjoy their clothing the same way if they got to follow its path from seed to sale. The way we choose to shop can change the impact industry has on our planet and the lives of millions of people and animals into something very positive. It’s all about having fun and looking fabulous while saving the world…”

Top photo, from left to right: linen jersey patchwork ruffle dress by Johanna Hofring and crochet angora scarf by Tor Söderin, lace structured button-up dress by Eko-Lab, linen/wool jumpsuit by Johanna Hofring with braided belt by Tor Söderin and necklace by Renata Mann, crochet dress by Kaori Yamazaki and legwarmers by Johanna Hofring.

Photos by Johanna Björk. See more from The GreenShows here.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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