GOING GREEN THE DESIGNER WAY
Let’s face it, to be eco-conscious is not only good for the planet, it’s also become trés chic. It seems that every True Fashionista designer now features organic clothing, fabrics created sustainably using a variety of recycled items, all beautifully reimagined into stunning pieces found increasingly more often on runways everywhere.
London-based Eco-Age, a company dedicated to helping businesses become and remain recycle- and sustainability-friendly, launched The Green Carpet Challenge (GCC) in 2010. Their website states that the Challenge is their“world-renowned sustainability initiative that creates a compelling and press-worthy narrative to amplify a brand’s environmental principles.” Pairing glamour with ethics, Eco-Age Co-founder and Creative Director Livia Firth walked the awards season red carpet in sustainable gowns. Hoping to send a message about environmental and social justice issues via that moment almost a decade ago, Livia has seen GCC take off exponentially ever since, as world famous designers and celebrities have joined forces to bring sustainability in the fashion industry to the forefront.
Nothing like making a True Fashionista environmental statement than via the Met Gala, as actress Emma Watson did in 2016 when she showed up in a sleek monochrome gown woven entirely from yarn made of recycled plastic bottles! Designed by Calvin Klein with help from GCC, the dress made both best-dressed lists and headlines for its sustainability statement.
Also in 2016, Adidas made their eco plunge by teaming up with Parley for the Oceansto create shoes made entirely of reclaimed and recycled yarns and filaments from ocean waste and deep-sea gillnets, while H&M debuted their Conscious Exclusive collection, which included eveningwear made with Bionic Yarn, a recycled polyester made from plastic shoreline waste.
The eco-renaissance of fashion is happening worldwide!
Groundworkpresents.comreports that in Australia, sustainable fashion label The Great Beyonduses bamboo to create soft, durable classics, while Canadian handbag designer Matt & Natrecycles materials like cork, rubber and vegan leather to create the outer frame of their all-vegan products. The inner lining of their bags is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. And it’s not just materials being put to use here; in recent years science has caught up with high fashion to utilize, yes, food waste!
Philippines-based company Ananas Anamhas created an environmentally-friendly leather alternative called Piñatex, made from pineapple fibers. What’s more, the process actually uses the byproducts of the pineapple harvest, so no additional land, water, pesticides or fertilizer are required to make it. Over in Italy, Sicily’s booming orange juice industry creates over 700,000 tons of waste annually, so startup Orange Fiberfigured out how to transform it into silky, soft yarn. In England, designer Rosalie McMillancreates high-end jewelry from coffee grounds, of all things. She collects them from London offices, then proceeds to dry and compress the grounds into exciting geometric shapes.
Here in the U.S., San Francisco online ethical retailer Cuyana takes a slightly different approach to saving the planet. Creating clothing made to last, their brand slogan is “fewer, better things”. Recently, the Wall Street Journalechoed that idea with their “Unimprovable Awards”, featuring items created with staying power. Their list includes heirloom-worthy watches such as the stainless steel Rolex, and the Cartier Santos, one of the first watches designed to worn on the wrist as opposed in the pocket. Schott NYC, who created that classic leather bomber jacket to keep U.S. Air Force pilots warm in unheated and unpressurized cabins during WWII, now offers an updated version as well as one for women. The WSJ list also includes a winterized boot by Berluti and travel luggage built to last by Mansur and Tom Ford.
While cotton still dominates the industry (using over 2,000 gallons of waterto create a single pair of jeans, ouch), sustainability-conscious designers are becoming increasingly smarter about how clothing can be made, giving our world a fighting, True Fashionista chance. In 2017, designer label Rag & Bone partnered with Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Greento launch a denim recycling program that encourages customers to bring in their jeans to donate for recycling, which in turn is used to create insulation for homes. A portion of the denim insulation is then donated to community building projects like Habitat for Humanity.
Make your sustainability mark by consigning with True Fashionistas Designer Resale and True Fashionistas Home, and make sure to shop here as well. Every little bit we can reuse rather than buy new is a helping hand for our planet and environment.