By Dila Yalman
When we talk about sustainability and the fashion industry, it is fair to suggest that the major fashion capitals may be a few steps away from eco-focused standards. Copenhagen Fashion Week has implemented a minimum eco standard for designers before being accepted and Stockholm has even cancelled their shows.
It’s not only the young designers who are paving a new path to sustainability; the well-established luxury brands have also changed their tune. The Fashion Week sustainability agenda is hot on their heels. Fashion houses in New York, London, Milan and Paris have brought sustainable showstoppers to the catwalk this season.
From second-hand shoes on the runway to a revamped plastic handbag, Irvetta will be compiling a list of designers who have taken sustainability in their stride.
Patchwork at Marni
Marni, the Italian-based fashion house, has extended their colourful, patterned line by incorporating repurposed materials by patchworking them. Scraps of leather and suede, knitwear segments, and toiles are blended into new designs. The familiar silhouettes of shift dresses, Crombie coats and such, are recreated with an eccentric patchwork design.
The warm complementary tones of the luscious leather show the beauty in the leftovers. Anna Wintour’s silent approval was shown by wearing the only patchwork item from Marni’s previous collection. Innovation with scraps and craftsmanship transform Marni’s designs into gorgeous pieces with a conscious tone.
M Capsule Collection at Mulberry
Crafted from a sustainable blend of ECONYL® regenerated nylon and sustainable cotton. The new M Capsule Collection has shown us that Mulberry can continue to produce beautiful products and accessories whilst keeping a focus around materials, manufacturing, product, and people. Johnny Coca, Mulberry creative director stated, “The M Collection takes an innovative approach to new materials and to British heritage.”
It doesn’t stop there. Mulberry has also launched ‘The Mulberry Exchange’. This new service will be available at select stores in the UK and US and it includes a buy back scheme with authentication and valuation. After authentication and appraisal, customers can decide between an exchange gift card or bag restoration. The exchanged pieces will be available for purchase in two stores in London; Bond Street, and Gees Court stores. Mulberry Green charter has set out the brand’s commitment to make a positive difference and allows customers to revive, rather than replace, their bag.
Second-hand vintage on the runway with Eckhaus Latta
For its A/W show, Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta partnered with The RealReal to tap into the resale trend. The RealReal has provided a selection of second-hand shoes by Prada, Chanel, Manola Blahnik and Nancy Gonzalez. Latta explains how they wanted to “start a conversation about reducing waste and extending the lifecycle of fashion,” addressing the root issue of fashion today, especially fast fashion.
The promotion of reusing well-loved products, preserving the quality and materials is coherent with the Mulberry Exchange. Eckhaus Latta have released the shoes used on the runway in a special capsule sale on the RealReal. Incorporating pre-used products with new ideas is slowly becoming a central theme in fashion, and it has made its way to the runways too!
Anya Hindmarch: I Am A Plastic Bag
For LFW 2020, Anya Hindmarch has launched an experiment instead of taking on the catwalk. The ‘I Am A Plastic Bag’ collection was launched in all of Hindmarch’s London stores, shopfronts filled up with plastic bottles to make a statement and the label’s collection of bags made from 32 recycled half-litre plastic bottles.
The collection has eight bag choices, two made from the new fabric; but to ensure there was a zero-carbon footprint, the collection took two years to create. To measure the emissions associated with the ‘I Am A Plastic Bag’ collection, the label has partnered up with a global climate change consultancy, the EcoAct. The label’s collection has been innovative whilst making a ground-breaking statement.
Stella McCartney has always been forward thinking with her ethical commitments. Vegan leather, recycled nylon and responsible fabrics have been a crucial part of Stella McCartney’s designs. At Paris Fashion Week, McCartney added an underlying tone below the cutesy animal costumes. The show confronted the issue McCartney hold to her heart: animal rights.
Since launching her label in 2001, she has always been a pioneer of vegan luxury. As the attitudes towards sustainability shift, McCartney’s credentials grow too. Now, she is beginning to use textiles from past collections and her latest campaign includes activist members of Extinction Rebellion.
The LFW Swap Shop
For the first time, LFW has hosted a clothing and accessories swapping centre, with donations from celebrities and British Fashion Council ambassadors. As the luxury rental companies grow across the UK, the Swap Shop reiterates the importance of the sharing economy. We hope and expect to see the limited five-day event to re-launch again, especially due to its fashion industry approval.
The Future of Sustainable Fashion
How designers alter, innovate, think and create today will shape how we view fashion in the future. A sustainable fashion industry is possible, but it has to start with the people. Evidently, brands have already begun to target the core problem, but as humans and fashion lovers ourselves, we can also make a change. Choosing to support designers who are making a change, choosing quality over quantity and being open-minded are only a few of the changes which need to be adopted.