MAYBE it's time to require all these companies pushing "eco-friendly" clothes to list their ingredients, soup can-style.
Take Banana Republic. Its new Green Collection is made with sustainable materials such as organic cotton, soy silk and bamboo -- and spandex. A halter dress, for example, has braided hemp straps, but it also has bra-like pads sewn into the bodice made of foam rubber. A knit tank top is made from a fabric that's just 5% soy silk. That's diet green, at best.
Alessandra Brunialti, Banana Republic's vice president of design for women, said the collection may be just a baby step toward an environmentally responsible future for the company, but it's a start.
"A year ago, when we started this, we were trying to be super pure about it -- have everything be completely organic," she said. "And it was all becoming too much to do at once. Then our mantra became 'One step at a time.' "