I’ll be honest, there wasn’t much green fashion chatter around London Fashion Week A/W 16. While I may be slowly immersing myself in sustainable style, I had to actively sniff out green collections and initiatives that have made relatively small appearances in the LFW calendar.
However, that being said, there is movement towards better practices, cleaner clothes, and the endorsement by some of the fashion elite. It may be a stark contrast to the Charity Shopping Tips I wrote for Barnardo’s blog The Thrift, but I’m invested in ethical and sustainable fashion on all levels (and who doesn’t get excited by a week of shows and gorgeous street style?!)
Here’s the best sustainable fashion news around LFW this season:
High fashion brands get ethical
We’ve seen it happening the world over. Calls for ‘Who made our clothes’ has been rattling the fashion industry for a while, and it looks like certain large fashion houses are taking note. As reported by Conscious Magazine, brands are improving their practices from sourcing sustainably to the wellbeing of staff. Picks of the bunch are Rodarte for its eco-friendly dyes, reduced industrial waste, and HQ ‘green space’, and of course Stella McCartney for its animal-free collection, campaigns against fur, and reducing their textile mills’ environmental impact.
Green carpet challenge
I’ve been a big fan of Livia Firth for a while (and no, not because she’s married to Colin Firth). Her fashion ethics consultancy Eco-age is pioneering industrial change, and doing it in the most luxurious way.
This year, their Green Carpet Challenge saw the high-fashion elite (Anna Wintour, Keira Knightley, Victoria Beckham are just a few Vogue reported on the green carpet) swoon over vintage couture and the world’s first ever eco-friendly mannequins, while simultaneously raising the profile of sustainable fashion as a whole.
…or car clothes in not-so-sexy English. Upcycling fashion brand Felder Felder created a 100% sustainable carbon fibre dress in collaboration with BMW to promote their electric vehicles. If you haven’t seen it already, the twin designers have miraculously turned the industrial material into an eclectic shimmering dress that fits well with their eco-rock collection (read more on The Huffington Post).
Possibly my favourite initiative, and one that hasn’t really been reported as sustainable, is the seasonless collection put together by Burberry. Inspired by the novel Orlando, the collection spanned time in a way not seen before on the catwalk, but that’s not quite what piqued my interest. It might not be eco-friendly, nor promoting any change within the industry, but to my mind it did ask the question of whether fashion has to have seasons. While it’s exciting to see clothes change from season to season (or even faster on the high street), perhaps there is power in layering and minimalism? It would be good to see a change in consumer behaviour to key investment pieces and also reducing material waste.
No more Estethica?
On the other end of the scale, it was shocking to realise that sustainable fashion initiative Estethica has seemingly disappeared. Having supported over 100 sustainable fashion designers since being established in 2006, it seems young and up-coming green fashion labels are no longer a highlight of the week. Considering sustainability has been in the public eye more and more over the last few years, it does make me wonder why it’s gone underground, and whether anyone else will step up to the plate of curating and representing conscious designers in the future.