Organic by John Patrick not only makes ecological statements through fashion, but political ones, too
By Chere Di Boscio
Before “organic”, “sustainable” were words du jour, more than 20 years ago, John Patrick was one of the first designers to establish a relationship with organic farm collectives in Peru. And since then, he has tirelessly spearheaded more sustainable manufacturing methods in other parts of the world.Perhaps his childhood in a Hudson Valley commune, being brought up by free-spirited parents with tremendous respect for nature, was responsible for the designer’s ecologically minded approach to business and life as a whole.
Not only does the brand prioritise creating beautiful and timeless pieces for the modern consumer, but it also aims to create positive social and environmental impact.
Want to know more about Organic by John Patrick and the man behind the brand? Learn more in our exclusive interview, here below.
What sparked Organic by John Patrick to become a pioneer in eco fashion?
Time was changing. The new century was upon us. Indigenous cotton and the nascent movement towards environmentalism already had a deep pull on my consciousness.
How has eco fashion changed since you began?
The entire world is now dialled in. And if they aren’t asleep at the wheel, the entire industry now revolves around transparency and clear supply chains.
It seems to be part of everything today, in terms of awareness. Previously, it had been somewhat of an afterthought.
What changes are particularly for the best?
That ‘best practices’ have been put into place. Consumers have finally been allowed to have more options. The process of manufacturing and design has been transformed. I love the fact that environmental awareness has reached fashion. It’s extremely potent.
What are your thoughts on the ‘quiet luxury’ movement?
Movements come and go. At John Patrick Organic, I stay true to the needs of my clients and anticipating how their lives are evolving. Classic is classic. As CZ Guest once told me: ‘All that matters to me are my children, my dogs, and my garden.’
That’s true luxury! Personal taste is important. And to each person, the idea of what is special is unique. The ultimate luxury is freedom.
What are some of your favourite fabrics to work with?
I love fabrics with surface and body for outerwear. At John Patrick Organic, cotton is royal! A noble fibre, if you will. Silk is wonderful because it takes colour so well and has an incredible sensuality to it. But my favourite fabric to work with is organic cotton. There’s a rigorous honesty to it that is inherent in both the fibre and the practice of its cultivation.
Speaking of silk, there’s a huge movement now towards veganism. Both in food and in fashion. It’s quite political! What are your thoughts on this?
Veganism is wonderful. It’s a choice that feels right for so may people these days. Especially with the issue of clean food that appear each day. Knowing what you’re eating is so close to knowing what you’re wearing.
I think it’s wonderful that it’s a growing part of our world. I’ve been a fan of the book Diet for a Small Planet since I was a child. Frances Moore Lap was an early proponent, as was Ann Wigmore.
Where do you see ethical fashion going in say, the next 5 years?
The seriousness of the ethics of the industry will grow even stronger and more resilient as we shift and change to an evolving climate and world. Season-less clothing that will be worn every day in rotation will become de riguer. Unisex clothing is now taking over. Couples sharing wardrobes and items interchangeably. ‘Less is more’ will evolve into ‘it’s for us, and it feels so right’.
Photos: Courtesy of Organic by John Patrick