Green Hot: Meet Mr. Larkin


These days, it seems like everybody wants a piece of Mr. Larkin. And who wouldn’t? Along with elegantly edgy good looks, a sense of humor and a certain way with the ladies, just about everything Mr. Larkin brings to the table is completely sustainable. We’re not referring to the latest eligible bachelor in town, but rather what we’re betting will be one of San Francisco’s most-talked-about local labels before the summer is through.

Launched in October by 30-year-old designer Casey Larkin, Mr. Larkin goes a long way toward making most eco-friendly labels sound downright 2004. In a sea of labels whose green efforts start and stop with organic cotton tees, Larkin’s spring 2009 collection ($80-$1,000) includes sweaters made of soy, organic bamboo, cashmere-like milk fiber and Cupro sateen made from cotton byproducts. But for the elastic used in certain pieces, Larkin says all embellishments and trims in the line hail from recycled or vintage sources, while dyes used to create the clothing’s muted pastel hues are locally-made with plants and vegetables as part of an ongoing collaboration with Berkeley textile artist Sasha Duerr. Even the clothing tags Larkin uses are eco-minded: when planted, they sprout into delphiniums.

For Texas-born Larkin, an Otis alum who earned her chops working for London-based label Joseph, launching a clothing line with sustainability and green production methods at its core was only the natural thing to do after growing up with parents who embraced an eco-friendly lifestyle long before there was a movement encouraging people to do so.

These days, when she’s not jetting around the country holding trunk shows to promote her label, you’d be likely to find Larkin with Duerr carting off rotten vegetables (they still work wonders for dyes, even when they’re spoiled) from Rainbow Foods and plotting to green the fashion industry through education. To that end, Larkin and Duerr head to Denmark later in the month to lecture on sustainable production methods at the Danish Fashion Institute.

“If you can start teaching it from that level up, there’s no reason it won’t be our future,” Larkin says.

And as for Mr. Larkin’s future, expect to see the line hit major department stores in the coming months. We hear a men’s collection is also in the works.

Craving an up-close-and-personal encounter with Mr. Larkin? Head to Clary Sage Organics or BellJar. The line is also available online at Beklina.

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