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For the Love of Green

by Sofroina Timmons

Color has a way of playing a huge role in our daily lives. It allows us to add more expression when communicating and to create an atmosphere, to name a couple of things. Green is a color that describes a jovial, youthful mood, and it's a go color...for action and reaction. The color green has been largely used to symbolize compassion for our Mother Earth.

If you're ever in the presence of a designer who deeply shares a profound love for naturally sustaining Earth then you may be in the company of Parisian designer Linda Balti, co-owner and creator of Amour Vert (French for Green Love). Balti and co-owner Christoph Frehsee, currently a Stanford University MBA student, share the same views about living green.

Amour Vert is an eco-conscious, modern-contemporary clothing line. Amour Vert is known for quality natural fabrics that have an upscale design and are affordable for the green conscious lifestyle. The brand's effortless creations are selections of pants, chic dresses, tops and bottoms, jackets and jumpsuits that are fashion-forward with European styles that are ahead of their time.

Sophisticated natural fabrics are used like Modal, Bamboo, Organic Cotton, Peace Silk, Tencel (a natural fabric that is engineered from wood pulp cellulose), Soy and Hemp (one of the oldest and strongest fabrics in the world). Each Amour Vert piece compliments a woman's physique for any occasion; and the fabrics are light. And if you're wondering if at any time Amour Vert uses chemicals, don't! The materials that are used are from certified manufacturers that use a closed loop recycling that minimizes waste, pollutants and resource intensity.

Give us some background info on Amour Vert.
The inspiration for Amour Vert began when I was living in Paris. I created the line because of my love for high fashion and the environment. I noticed that it was very difficult to find eco-conscious clothing that would be affordable and stylish enough to wear day and night...so Amour Vert was born.

What was the inspiration for your newest collection?
For our Spring/Summer collection we wanted to create easy but chic silhouettes that you can dress up or down. We came up with a peace silk tunic dress in a very simple shape that you can wear belted or more relaxed. It is the perfect chic summer dress.

How do you remain competitive in this market?
We simply offer something that is unavailable to the public: affordable fashionable clothing that is 100% environment friendly.

What celebrity would you say exemplifies Amour Vert's style and why?
I am a big fan of French actress Marion Cotillard. She is a natural beauty and has always been big on environmental issues, but now she's doing something concrete about it by working actively with Greenpeace. I love when people stand for a cause, and even more when it is for the environment.

What do you think are the biggest trends right now?
Coral is going to be huge this summer; it's such a flattering color on all skin tones. We have a very pretty coral dress in the collection, right in the trend! I have also noticed an explosion of colorful prints in the runways, from flowers to Ikat.

Give us your impressions abou the eco-conscious movement?
I think that it is fantastic that environmental awareness is spreading. It started with the organic food movement, and it is now gaining more industries. As people realize the huge impact of fashion on the environment they will buy more sustainable clothing. No one wants to wear chemicals all over their skin. In this challenging economy, you have to spend your dollars wisely. Amour Vert is all about smart fashion: quality garments that you can wear season after season. All our garments are handcrafted in San Francisco and we source as much fabric as we can in the US to lower our carbon footprint. We even dye our peace silk locally using vegetable dyes. We want to be as sustainable as we can throughout the chain.

Amour Vert can be purchased where and at what price point?
Amour Vert can be purchased in specialty boutiques nationwide as well as at www.shop-amourvert.com - - The line retails from $20 - 180.

Any plans for a men's line in the future?
At the moment our focus is women's and soon we would like to expand to include accessories.

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