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Sophie Rieu Designs Eco-creative Winning Couture

Unicorn is an award-winning women’s designer wear label with great character, founded by Ireland-based French designer Sophie Rieu. Collections are made from the finest locally-sourced organic and natural fabrics. Her garments are elegantly understated, and flatter the female form with particular emphasis on detailing and finish.

Sophie’s fabrics are colored with low impact dyes. Her prints are also from low impact dyes and inks. All zips, ribbons and binding are tested and made in compliance with ÖKO environmental certification standards. The design facility is powered by wind energy with efforts to limit impacts on the Earth, both socially and environmentally.

Sophie Rieu trained at the Grafton Academy in Dublin and launched Couture-with-a-conscience in 2005. She earned a strong environmental and social background that influenced her decision to work only with environmentally friendly fabrics. She also created the Shakti range ‒ a yoga label made from fairly traded organic.

Sophie creates biannual collections with innovative style around a theme. Her 2008-2009 Unicorn winter collection is titled Clair Obscur, named after the Renaissance painting technique which subtly plays with shadows, shimmer and light. She layers or combines different textures and colors to apply and re-interpret the effect, which functions beautifully.

Typical materials are certified organic cotton, organic silk and locally-woven fabrics, such as linen and tweed. She supports the sustainable use of natural materials, as well as local crafts and traditions. Sophie holds a passion for innovative designs and strives to produce something quite different twice a year.

Not surprisingly, Sophie is winner of the Most Eco-creative Women’s Designer award of the Chic Eco contest poll 2008. Yet it doesn’t take a winner’s seal to appreciate her innovative talent. The label is couture with a conscience that blends style, character, substance, and grace.

The Unicorn range is stocked in selected boutiques throughout Ireland and in the UK, USA, France, and Japan. Customers know these garments are to love for a lifetime. In summary, Unicorn Design is about offering the best standards in design-led fashion with all the added advantages of ethical sourcing and production. Congratulations Sophie!


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Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.

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