It's hard to believe there are any designers in the fashion industry who are truly "green." After all these are the same designers who advocate buying all-new wardrobes each season—not exactly poster children for recycling and living a low-impact life.

However, every little action makes a difference. Beauty company Aveda has taken this idea to heart and created the "Green Backstage" program. It's meant to raise the profile of eco-friendly practices by partnering with several influential designers to transform their backstage areas into less impactful areas. The designers participating during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York are Kate and Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte, Alexander Wang, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi for Preen and Phillip Lim.

All of these designers have committed to the following: Print all programs and show invitations on paper containing post-consumer recycled content; replace bottled water backstage with New York tap water in non-toxic aluminum SIGG bottles, eliminating 400 plastic water bottles; serve organic, locally sourced foods to models, stylists, makeup artists and production staff backstage; and eliminate the use of fur in the show and at retail.

"People have always looked past backstage and not really thought of it as an area of visibility," said Alexander Wang. "Seeing what goes on backstage is more exciting to me than seeing the actual show. I love the [Green Backstage] idea and it's opened my eyes to the many things I can do."

Designer Philip Lim has incorporated green practices into more than just his backstage area. "I try to be green. In my own collection, we do a … capsule collection, Go Green Go by Philip Lim," he said.

"I make my whole office recycle—we recycle poly bags and everyone in my office has Aveda's aluminum] water bottle. I take the subway and walk more. Slowly, I'm trying to adapt to my everyday life where it's something that I don't even think about. I feel good about doing it.

"We do what we can within our means," he added. "I do what I can do." Looking to cut pollution during fashion week, Aveda is offering emission-free pedi-cabs free of charge to ferry people from show to show around New York.

Aveda is also launching the first-ever Caps Recycling Program to collect the hard plastic caps used on beverage and shampoo bottles that cities and municipalities don't recycle.

"Most cities do not recycle caps because there's not a very [big] market for them," said Elle Maguire, vice-president of global communications for Aveda. "They're made from a harder plastic that ends up as waste. We believe that the beauty industry uses so many caps collectively that we could inspire change."

Through partnerships with schools and Girl Scout troops, the company has collected more than 80,000 pounds of plastic caps to date.

"We've produced an entire product using the plastic from the caps, which is our 30th anniversary Vintage Clove Shampoo," said Evan Miller, director of environmental media for Aveda. The next product to get this recycled packaging is the brand's Color Conserve Shampoo and Conditioner.

For more information on the Aveda Caps Recycling Program, visit