Being green has become increasingly popular in the fashion world. However, there aren’t many high-end fashion labels whose ethos is about sustainability. Well that is precisely what Bodkin’s ethos is.
Eviana Hartman founded Bodkin in 2008. Eviana had worked as a fashion writer for Vogue, Teen Vogue and a fashion features editor at NYLON. She has a keen interest in sustainability, this developed after writing a column on ecological topics for The Washington Post. She studied under green architect William McDonough and her father was also an architect.
Bodkin aims to bring the mission of architectural modernism to the fashion world. There is an emphasis on good, smart design. At the core of the label is comfort, Bodkin creates urban essentials using modern silhouettes and wry details. This in turn lends simple shapes subtle special features. Bodkin prefers to favour relaxed, understated chic.
The main ethos of Bodkin is that all the materials are sourced from environmentally friendly and socially good sources. At Bodkin they source as mindfully as possible. All of the cotton they use is organic and they have employed new fibres, such as Tencel, and post-consumer recycled fibres. If Bodkin want to use materials, such as wool or cashmere, this is more difficult to source it organically. However, they are more sustainable than agriculturally grown, water-intensive fibres. The dyeing process is a lesser-known area in which the fashion industry is responsible for environmental issues. Bodkin actively looks for vegetable-based or zero-effluent dying processes. When you look at Bodkins fabrics, each one is thoughtfully produced. Bodkin aren’t saying they’re perfect but they are aiming to support people and businesses. All Bodkin’s clothing is manufactured in the United States. This means that Bodkin are aware of how their workers are being treated, compared with manufacturing overseas.
Bodkin takes sustainability as far as the design process. A garment may be made from organic cotton but if it isn’t a pleasure to wear then it’s going to get thrown away. Bodkin are hoping, that as the line evolves, that their garments will have a balance of utility, beauty and quality. It suggests they want their clothing to last for more than one season, compared with other designers.
Bodkin showed their first show at New York Fashion Week in February this year. Even though the label and the garments are all about sustainability, there was a source of inspiration for the collection. Hartman had cited the Clyfford Still Painting (1951-1952) as a source of inspiration. It was a collection all about texture. For example raw edges and seaming details added extra depth to the texture. One thing that did emerge from Bodkin’s debut collection was Hartman’s ability to fuse formal and casual.
Bodkin’s debut collection was relatively small. However, it will be interesting to see how Bodkin grows and develops over the next few seasons. It could mean changes in the fashion world and putting more thought into the design and manufacturing processes.
Images courtesy of PatrickMcMullan.com and Style.com.