We’re so lucky to have such a breadth of ethical and sustainable fashion, accessory, and lifestyle brands in our collective. It spans so many styles and cultures that we believe there’s something for everyone. One of our go-to fashion designers is Echo + Air, an modern clothing shop featuring ethereal minimalist tops, dresses, jumpsuits, and more—all designed and manufactured in Los Angeles (which you can read more about in our directory). Their Spring/Summer 2017 line just launched with a collection of thoughtful, intentionally designed pieces, all available on the Echo and Air site. To celebrate, we did a little q+a with founder and designer, Jordana Howard. Get inspired!
How does SS17 differ from past collections?
This collection is based more on design principles rather than mood. Usually, I am very inspired by something I am feeling and I channel it through design. The mood can tend to be a little darker (which I love), but this collection is more playful and experimental. Our lookbook has a humor to it, which is a side of the brand I hadn’t yet explored.
We had a lot of fun with the art direction. I was really interested in the idea of shapeshifting and how form can change through movement. Whether it was through drape, tailoring, or folding, I want people to do a double take; our clothing looks simple and wearable, but it’s quite complex in the way the we are manipulating the fabric and creating non-traditional shapes. I wanted incorporate all of those elements.
Tell us about the new sustainable fabrics you’ve introduced.
Linen/Tencel blended washed canvas. This is my favorite fabric in the collection. It has the texture of linen but the softness and drape of tencel (a sustainable substitute for silk + rayon). It works well in both tailored and draped silhouettes. We are also working with an amazing fair trade company called Hemp Traders. We sourced this beautiful organic cotton/hemp jersey knit. It’s so beautiful and machine washable.
We also introduced a Sandwashed Cupro Bemberg. Cupro comes from the by-product of cotton manufacturing. Similar to Tencel, Cupro is made through a closed loop system (which is a sustainable way to process cellulose fibers). Cupro is a super luxurious fabric, most people mistake for a brushed silk. Lastly, we have a new digital print that is printed on recycled polyester jersey.
When it comes to designing a new collection, where do you go for inspiration? Can you talk a little about the process of dreaming up + working on new designs?
I really enjoying draping and patterning, so a lot my inspiration comes from a technical point of view, but also I love making weird shapes sewing them together and seeing what happens, there’s something a little bit sculptural about the process. I think you need to know rules before you can break them. Before designing a new collection, I always need a good recharge. I like to have space to clear my head. This time I am going on a solo road trip to Texas. I have this sort utopian theme going on with all my spots. Especially excited to visit Arcosanti in Arizona and Marfa,Texas. I will be posting some pics our Instagram and hoping to do a little journaling, sketching, and reading as well.