Sustainable fashion continues to inspire many designers and this year at the Paris, London and Milan Fashion weeks, it was no different.
So which designers used the world’s top fashion weeks to promote a sustainable vision for their industry? Here’s a few of them:
London Fashion Week
Besides creating unusual, bold geometric garments that women find easy to wear, Richard Malone is also known for weaving sustainability concepts into his avant-garde collections. In his first fashion show at London Fashion Week, he used eco-friendly fabric Lyocell, which is made from the bark of eucalyptus trees. He also worked with a community of women in India on hand woven fabrics which use natural dyes that have minimum environmental impact. His flair for deconstruction, asymmetric detailing and preference for bold colours such as canary yellow and lime wowed the crowd this year.
Much like his past collections, this season saw professional ballet dancer turned fashion designer Jiri Kalfar focus on ways to create luxury clothing in a more eco-friendly way. The eclectic mix of semi-couture handmade clothing and commercial items using one-off materials, was inspired by the climate revolution movement and Vivienne Westwood’s “intellectuals unite” speech. The gold and black colours of the pieces represent the bee and the florals used represent fields and gardens. The entire SS18 men’s and women’s collection was designed to capture the beauty of the environment and was made in a way that saves it.
Founded by London College of Fashion graduate Diana Auria, this swimwear brand produces swimwear lines that being sustainability and design together harmoniously. The eco-friendly swimwear is made from ECONYL, 100% regenerated nylon yarn made from old fishing nets, nylon ropes and other discarded consumer waste. For this collection, Auria also experimented with other new sustainable materials and sustainable production methods – including crochet and macrame to produce eco sexy swimwear that women actually want to wear. We adore the way this eco-friendly swimwear brand mixes glamour with environmental responsibility and makes it easy for customers to shop consciously.
As part of the Designer Showrooms space for the International Fashion Showcase, founder of Pune-based brand Ka-Sha, Karishma Shahani Kahn, showcased the autumn / winter collection for her label. Karishma uses handwoven and hand dyed fabric to create her beautiful layered and flowy designs placing artisanal craftsmanship firmly in the spotlight.
Paris Fashion Week
Stella McCartney is no stranger to sustainable fashion and her collection at Paris Fashion Week didn’t disappoint. Invitations for her fashion show arrived with a roll of “trashion bags”, biodegradable plastic bin liners by TIPA. Why did she do this? To make a strong statement about consumption. A prominently used material in this season’s collection was faux leather, skin-free skin as it was labelled. Even organic cotton made an appearance in her collection cementing her reputation as the doyenne of sustainable fashion.
The pieces from this season’s Aalto collection made their way down the runway at Paris Fashion Week, projecting a strong message for sustainability. Designer Tuomas Merikoski partnered with Finnish packing company RePack, who aims to reduce waste produced by online shopping, to convey this message even further. The heavy-duty, yellow packing bags that inspired the collection and made their way down the runway are made from recycled materials. The aim of the collection – to poke fun at consumerism and stress the importance of sustainability and we think he did a wonderful job of it.
Milan Fashion Week
Green was declared the colour of Milan Fashion Week, with Milan fashion’s ruling body promoting sustainability in the ‘fast’ world of ready to wear. The high point of sustainable fashion could be found at the “Oscars of sustainable fashion” aka the Green Carpet Fashion Awards held at the near end of Milan Fashion Week. It was hosted presided by eco-fashion advocate Livia Firth.
Model and activist Gisele Bundchen became the first recipient of the Eco Laureate Award, recognised for her actions in the promotion of many environmental causes especially the work she’s done to preserve the Amazon Rainforest in her native Brazil. She dressed for the occasion, stealing the show in a Stella McCartney gown made from sustainably sourced viscose.
A total of eleven awards were handed out to Italian designers, fashion houses and suppliers that “champion community and social justice, traditional craftsmanship, responsible supply chain management and innovation and technological transformation.”
While there’s still a long way to go yet to transform the entire fashion industry and slow down its speed, we think those attempting to do the right thing from an ecological point of view deserve recognition. They are shaping fashion according to their ethical and environmental values, and by doing so, begin to reshape the industry to reflect these human values. We hope to see more sustainable fashion at the world’s top fashion weeks from here on in.