Insects and the City

Vert & Vogue
by Amanda Giddon -- February 13th, 2013

Sustainable fashion is not confined to patchwork overalls. Locally designed fashion is not a burlap sack cinched with twine, nor limited to a pallet of hues only found on the forest floor. American-made clothing is trendsetting, multifarious, and made to last. Aside from sustainable fashion pioneers, the fashion industry is inherently wasteful – companies strive for fast turnover of production and trends, and freely compromise quality.

Fortunately, you do not have to do away with apparel altogether to remain environmentally sensible.  And conveniently, you do not have to look far to acquire sustainable trends. Vert and Vogue, located in Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham, offers contemporary clothing for men and women, with more than half of their collection made in the U.S., including the Vert and Vogue clothing line itself.

Coowners Ryan and Nadira Hurley have brought life to their shop through unique life experience and a keenness for green.   Ryan’s years of work in environmental advocacy drives the shop’s preference for low-impact clothing, while Nadira’s Parisian upbringing and boutique experience is evident in the exceptionally curated merchandise and impeccable styling. This power couple uses their power for good, not evil.

Vert and Vogue and I have a few things in common besides our proclivity for organic cotton tees (everyone needs!) and luxury lines of recycled, naturally died leather bags. We both are passionate about Durham, and doing something about it. (Though V&V may be slightly more productive.) The shop partners with local organizations that promote economic and ecological welfare, and strives to help build a vivacious downtown Durham. V&V believes that sustainability starts with local production – and is making it happen.

Among V&V’s locally supported brands is the Carolina-born Raleigh Denim. The denim company exclusively uses denim from the historic Cone White Oak plant in Greensboro, N.C., and applies homegrown materials and artisanal methods. As most weaving has moved oversees, Raleigh Denim aims to revive North Carolina’s handcrafted denim industry. Nothing feels better than eating your locally grown kale in a handsome pair of locally grown jeans.

V&V was featured in The New York Time’s 36 hours in Durham – an insightful recommendation to visitors about where to allocate time and effort during an all-too-brief visit to Durham. On behalf of the NYT and myself, as these winter days grow lighter and longer, use your hours wisely, and pay a visit to the exquisite Vert and Vogue.

©2016 Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University | Box 90328 | Durham, NC 27708
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