Eco-Stiletto: Eco Silk for Summer Style: Jesse Kamm

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Jesse Kamm Tie-Front Shorts $285

Just the word “silk” seems infused with diaphanous luxury, summery sophistication, and natural splendor. Don’t believe us? Go ahead, say it. Mmm. It just sounds so…silky. Which is all very nice. But just how eco is silk, really?

The answer is, it depends. Silk, as a fiber, is renewable, since it’s sourced from silk moth larvae, as opposed to synthetic materials like acrylic, which is sourced from petroleum. And it’s biodegradable, which means silk can be used to nourish the soil, unlike, say, polyester, which can only be used to nourish your secret fetish for 1970s disco jumpsuits.

But what about the ick factor of boiling those little worms alive? Or the impact of manufacturing? Then check our our selections of gorgeous, price-conscious clothes made out of sustainable, Fair Trade, ethically cultivated and/or recycled silk—along with some surprisingly sophisticated silk alternatives. Part Five of Five.

There’s a reason designers love silk. Many reasons, in fact. The feather-light weight, fabulous drape and delicate sheen make it a go-to material for fancy wear like skin-baring cocktail frocks and bias-cut maxi gowns. But shorts? Not so much. Well, we’ve found a gorgeous exception in Los Angeles designer Jesse Kamm’s killer Spring-Summer 2011 Collection.

Jesse Kamm’s silk Tie-Front Shorts, made in part with recycled remnant silk, are flirty enough for an al fresco happy hour, smart enough for office wear and pretty much tailor-made for transitioning to night-out sexy with the addition of a shimmery top and great pair of heels.

There are plenty more pieces to love in Kamm’s collection, including versatile tops, tanks and summery trousers, all designed to outlast fickle trends and endure season after season of wear.

And yes, they are more expensive than some larger brands. But remember that, as part of Kamm’s passionate environmental commitment, she also hand-prints textiles using non-toxic inks, repurposes about 50% of her in-house remnants, hand-crafts her line locally using 60 to 70% dead stock and remnant fabrics. Jesse Kamm company cars run on 100% veggie oil, too. Delicious!

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About Rachel Sarnoff

The blog is the brainchild of Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, a former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World who was editor of Children magazine—before she had three of her own. Rachel was featured in Los Angeles and Lucky magazines and has appeared on “Today,” “Access Hollywood” and “CNN Headline News,” among others. She is a writer, consultant and pre/postnatal yoga teacher, who also helps families with Healthy Home Assessments. Rachel can also be found on HuffPo Parents, at, on Facebook, at and tweeting regularly as @RachelLSarnoff.