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Historically the largest source of emissions has been the gathering of designers, reporters, fashion connoisseurs and models in the fashion capitals to see the latest designs. The Covid-19 pandemic forced major changes, the greatest being the push for virtual shows, ultimately making this the most emissions friendly Fashion week yet! The success of these virtual shows might just be the push the industry needed to rethink strategies and develop more sustainable business models. The positive outcome is already noticeable with Gucci, Burberry and Prada pledging to reduce their environmental footprint, and work towards carbon neutral supply chains. Gucci just published plans to partner with the UN’s Redd+ program which endorses strong reforestation efforts, and this year, Copenhagen Fashion Week released their first sustainability report outlining plans to be zero-waste by 2022.
Luxury and sustainability haven’t always gone hand in hand, but some of these brands are paving the way for a new age of fashion. Virtual shows have also leveled out the playing field allowing smaller designers to be better seen and heard. Here are some luxury and up and coming brands working towards sustainability in their business practices.
Luxury brands to keep your eye on:
Phoebe English has been a pioneer in decarbonizing clothes-making, in a dynamic and collaborative way. Her newest collection is focused on upcycling deadstock fabric and using natural dyes so as not to pollute waterways. Her motivation being that shipping in sustainable fabrics wasn’t actually sustainable and using deadtock gave new life to her newest monochrome collection.
Temperley London, a British brand, is continuously striving towards sustainability throughout all of their collections. The brand uses fabrics derived from natural fibers that are biodegradable, focusing on having minimal waste, and using deadstock from previous seasons. They have a strong focus on ethical supply chains, working closely with all of their suppliers.
Gabriella Hearst began shifting her collections towards sustainability in 2015 continuing on from her carbon-neutral fashion show in 2019 to her AW’20 collection which showcased a sustainable collection made entirely of waste. Gabriella has found a beautiful way of repurposing looks and textiles, such as a trench coat made from remnants of a Turkish kilim.
Jade Sarita Arnott , a Melbourne and New York-based label brings eco-friendly textiles like organic cotton, help and Tencel to her feminine pieces. Arnott focuses on having minimal waste and has transparency throughout the supply chain.
Farzaneh H. Christensen is a sustainable brand that believes fashion should promote positive messages about ethical practices. Luxury is not compromised with this brand, showing how quality and sustainability can go hand in hand. Their manufacturing is plastic free and focuses on reducing their footprint.