Fair Fashion

Coast to Coast with Gudrun Sjoden Autumn 2017: How I Wear Ecofashion


As readers here know, I’m a huge (and now, longtime!) fan of the wonderful Swedish brand, Gudrun Sjoden. Usually I order online, but this fall I was back in NYC and Connecticut for several weeks and took the time to go shopping in person at the Gudrun store on Greene St. in Manhattan.


It was so much fun to see all the prints in person and the store had such a cozy, welcoming vibe (strawberries to snack on and lemonade too!) —as well as spacious dressing rooms (see topmost pic)—so I tried on piles of clothes to find my faves. The winners are below!


Back in the California sunshine, I can”t stop wearing my new pieces; this amazing snap-front denim tunic functions as a dress, a jacket, an extra layer (and I even slept in it once!). I must wear it at least 3-4 times a week. Here it’s paired with my Gudrun Sjoden Tribeca organic cotton tights,  a Synergy Organics pencil skirt, and my well-worn Melissa flats.


Everyone who knows the Gudrun brand is very aware of their beyond-fabulous prints; almost ever season I buy a pair of their hard-wearing tights, and these purple zig-zag beauties are my latest finds (linked above; they are the Tribeca tights). Here I paired them with knee-high Sorrell boots and a short tunic dress for a jaunt to the coffee shop.



Speaking of prints,  last weekend I visited the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose in my perfect-for-exploring Gudrun Sjoden organic cotton Turtle dress and Kowtow printed leggings, which work together perfectly for a pattern-on-pattern adventure of their own.


I highly recommend visiting the Mystery House: Some say Winchester created her labyrinthine home with hundreds of rooms out of guilt and fear of haunting by the people that her company’s guns killed. That’s the “spooky story.” But I got a different impression. Here is a brilliant woman who paid twice what anyone else paid to her (devoted) staff, and she also guaranteed free housing and meals for all.


Sarah Winchester executed her own particular vision of the world, using repeating artistic motifs, mathematics and language, all expressed via architecture. She was a fascinating and generous woman who lost much (her husband and a baby girl), but gave back far more. My theory is that she kept building the house for 38 years, 24/7/365 in order to provide jobs for the many craftspeople who needed them. But we’ll probably never know the truth about this uniquely American abode.


Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.