'E ko logic: "green" clothing from Troy

Ekologic shirts.jpg

Racks full of great shirts that used to be other stuff

By Jessica Pasko

Old sweaters and t-shirts become one-of-a-kind high-fashion items at Ekologic in Troy.

The company's been making their green-friendly sweaters, mittens and more since before "green" was trendy and they're definitely worth checking out.

Ask Brad Pitt and Catherine Keener. They're among the celebs who have been spotted wearing 'e ko logic designs.

Ekologic sweaters.jpgSince its inception, 'e ko logic has made about 30,000 pieces and re-used about 7 tons of "post consumer" fabric waste.

Kathleen Tesnakis started playing around with used clothing back in 1996 when she and her husband Charles were living in Portland, Oregon. She'd been working in the textile industry when she got the idea to take the used articles and create entirely new pieces.

"I really like the concept of re-consuming what is consumed," says Kathleen. "My company, and my lifestyle are all about making conscious choices.

Using discarded sweaters, shirts and other textile pieces from distributors in the New York City area, Ekologic hand sews and stitches every piece, about 4,000 a year to be exact. Those pieces are sold in stores around the country, through the company's online business and at various high-end crafts markets, including the upcoming "Jingle at the Chelsea Market" in Manhattan.

Ekologic bags.jpg

Charles and Kathleen, both native New Yorkers, re-located to Troy in 2003 to set up shop in the former Marvin Neitzel Corporation factory (the last place in the Collar City to produce collars.) She and Charles run the company by themselves, with help from their current assistant.

Ekolgic dress 1.jpg
She says she likes the culture that's percolating in Troy - it might not have the same services and products that Portland has, but she feels there are similar sentiments here when it comes to green living and sustainability.

'E ko logic has gotten a pretty big reputation in the past few years. Brad Pitt and Catherine Keener are just a few of the celebs spotted wearing their accessories. Sonic Youth's Lee Rinaldo apparently has a design named after him wore and 'e ko logic sweater in some recent promo photos. Tesnakis' sweaters and dresses have also been featured in many magazines and Web sites.

Considering that each piece is hand-cut and hand stitched, as you might imagine, they don't come cheap. A colorful cashmere hat costs around $72 while a sweater or a dress could run you $200 or $300. For a lot of us, it's probably a splurge but they're high-quality, one-of-a-kind items that are definitely swoon-worthy. Maybe it's time to re-write your Christmas wish list?

Ekologic dress 2.jpg

If you want to check out their stuff in person, the Ekologic studio will be open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in conjunction with the Victorian Stroll. They'll be selling their products of course, but it's also worth just checking out because Kathleen and the studio have a fun, happy energy that just kind of makes you feel good to be there.

Find It

444 River St., 2nd floor
Troy, NY 12180

(518) 274-0813


People should shovel money at e ko logic on a regular basis - great clothes made by seriously two of the nicest folks I can think of. Big ups to Charlie + Kathleen - glad to have 'em here in Troy.

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