Webzines mix style with eco-friendly substance

You don't have to look beyond your laptop to find countless green-themed magazines with a stylish spin.

But the words "green style" can easily be an oxymoron, so we surfed five ethos-boosting webzines to find the most runway-ready of the pack. Some lost points for boring clothes that nearly put us to sleep. Others were so good they reminded us that, beyond the hemp and hype, sustainable style has everything to do with looking (and being) smart.


Eco audience: Laid-back, soy latte-loving yoga masters who hit up Whole Foods in the middle of the day.

Fashion factor: This San Francisco-based site has California cool down pat. Find info on L.A. store openings, events and a bevy of organic cotton collections from local lines including Topo Ranch and California Rising. But Vogue this is not. Mixed within the cozy casuals are graphic-print umbrellas, generic jewelry and more unfortunate-looking canvas totes than we care to think exist.

Shade of green: Buzzwords including "recycled," "reclaimed," "organic" and "sustainable" are strewn throughout the site, as are tiny tidbits on why the words actually matter.

Final verdict: Nothing revolutionary, but we have to give props for showing lots of Los Angeles love.


Eco audience: True fashionphiles who just happen to have a conscience too.

Fashion factor: If Mother Nature and Marc Jacobs got it on, this stylish site would be their offspring. Runway-worthy photo spreads feature Earth-friendly pieces from well-designed eco lines including Bodkin, Annie Greenabelle and Olsen Haus footwear -- whose neon and neutral vegan sandals rival spring's finest carnivorous foot candy. Visitors get a dose of the globe's best green brands and boutiques and, as an added bonus, links to some of the finest eco-friendly e-commerce sites in the land.

Shade of green: Though it may not look like more than a clotheshorse's paradise, Ecofashionworld passes the test with newsy items on pineapple fiber dresses, Norway's Initiative for Clean and Ethical Clothing and instructions to help do-it-yourselfers make their own gear.

Final verdict: If all green style looked this good, we'd be full-fledged tree huggers by now.


Eco audience: Sartorial jet setters more interested in stiletto footprints than carbon ones.

Fashion factor: This British-based webzine showcases an edgy, all-too-rare side of green fashion -- you know, the one that actually looks cute. Runway-ready looks include recycled-fabric party frocks by Doucette Duvall, Sass & Bide's bamboo tank and ethical second-skin bandage dresses by up-and-coming London label Rani Jones.

Shade of green: While each featured line is sustainable in some way, granola breath doesn't overpower this site's dedication to high style -- though a handy eco-dictionary did raise our green IQ with factoids about carrots being used to make car parts. Pretty cool.

Final verdict: Apparently there is such a thing as sustainable style. Who knew?


Eco audience: Hip, stylish soccer moms looking to green their lives, one organic fruit snack at a time.

Fashion factor: This well-designed digital portal is essentially a running "hot list" of the latest in trendy green gear. Unfortunately, the glossy exterior and short, cheeky product reviews don't overcome stodgy offerings. Think printed organic T-shirts, wooden sunglasses and hemp sneakers ugly enough to make your socks sick. Yawn.

Shade of green: "Big List," a home page feature about eco-baddies, filled us with fears of dryer sheets, gold jewelry and yes, even tampons. But we logged off with a newfound knowledge about green matters that really matter -- the chemicals going in, on and around our body every day.

Final verdict: We learned a lot of reasons why we should be going green. But based on this site, fashion is not one of them.


Eco audience: Soft-core hippies with an appreciation for $25 shampoo.

Fashion factor: This site, the virtual home of a traditional print publication by the same name, offers a mix of style hits and misses. Certain green pieces, such as a bamboo wool jumpsuit by Covet, are pretty cute. But others, including aluminum can brooches and Coke bottle bracelets, are better left in the recycling bin.

Shade of green: Conventional fashion and beauty products mingle alongside the green stuff. Luckily, a handy eco-friendly rating system in the print version dispels reader confusion.

Final verdict: Though beautiful in design, the website's light style section left us longing for more.

the virtual home


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