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Danielle St. Laurent”I grew up in Rome, the land of the tiny refrigerator and the even smaller closet,” says Alessandra Brunialti, vice president of women’s design at Banana Republic. “We only bought what we needed and always ate locally sourced fresh food. That way of life has stayed with me.” Although Brunialti lives a low-impact lifestyle both in New York City and at her home in the Hamptons and vacationed exclusively at environmentally friendly resorts like Amansala in Tulum long before they were fashionable, the biggest gift she’ll give the planet to date is the work she’s done on Banana Republic’s new green initiative. Inspired by adventurer and outdoor photographer Andy Biggs’ serene snaps of elephants on the African savannah and Scandinavian architect Pascal Van der Kelen’s streamlined structures, Banana Republic’s first-ever eco capsule collection hits stores for the spring/summer season. “Our motto is `One step at a time’,” says Brunialti. “We are carefully choosing the ways we can make a difference. We don’t want to be one of those companies that claim they’re `green’ without doing the work. It’s going to be a gradual progression.” – Continue Reading Below First up, besides a commitment to use recycled packaging and energy-conserving lightbulbs in stores, is a 50-piece collection that incorporates bamboo, organic Turkish cotton and linen, and soy-silk blends into clean-cut basics. Standouts include a supple cream trench coat, high-waist trousers st-edwards-cam , and paper-thin embroidered caftans in nudes, grass greens, and a signature bamboo-stalk print. The collection doesn’t look much different from the rest of Banana Republic’s modern staples, which is exactly the point. “We want our normal customers to be the ones buying our green items, so they look to the design first and then realize it’s green after the fact,” Brunialti says. Eco pieces will be marked with a special tag that bears the stamp of an elephant and after this season will become a part of each standard collection, starting with Banana Republic’s 5 percent organic-cotton tank tops and 100 percent organic-cotton denim pants and jackets. The company also donated one percent of its total in-store profits (estimated at $100,000) during Earth Week (April 22 to 27) to the Trust for Public Lands ( Canada Goose black friday , a conservation group that raises funds for public parks, community gardens, and historic sites

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