The theme of eco-sustainable fashion born a decade from a warning launched by the big luxury brands and small fashion maisons, seems to be destined as a timeless trend: the big as well as the small fashion houses are following a path of eco-friendliness sustainability that involves the entire production cycle; from the choice of materials to the finished product - they are working more and more towards the direction of responsibility.
Fashion has always been a mirror of society, looking ahead, and interpreting a desire for change, which is then reflected in stylistic choices. Thus, the catwalks become the mirror of those social signals that society refers to. The great sensitivity around the theme has generated a series of events dedicated to eco-sustainability. Entire collections are now produced with natural materials and fibers, and it is not only the red carpet of fashion weeks that welcome models, VIPs and designers to accentuate even more of the sensitivity of the fashion world; the Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Italy were also established (this year is in its second edition) to celebrate the theme of eco-sustainable fashion.
But even social media has adapted to the theme of the moment, with special platforms created with all the information and updates on the subject and now also museums, like the one in Amsterdam, which inaugurated a few months ago dedicated to eco-sustainable fashion 'Fashion for Good'. And also exhibitions and galleries in line with the theme, have come out in the open with more and more 'eco' exhibitions.
The most obvious proof of how 'ecofriendly' is now a must, is if we take a look at recent weeks of national and international fashion, we can notice the complete abolishment of fur from almost all catwalks. Eco and Green Fashion Week were also launched. This sensitizes consumers to ways of purchasing and using clothing in a more ethical and environmentally friendly way - including recycling, the use of vintage, the choice of craft products, garments with regenerated fibers, or products derived from the re-use of materials. Among the ethical brands which deserve to be followed in their process of “green revolution“ are labels such as: J. Crew, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Monsoon, ASOS Eco Edit, Christopher Rabeurn and also childrens brands, Piupia, Toby Tiger, The Bright Company, Patagonia, Newbie, Zara Kids and Organiczoo.
Generally, to be considered an ethical brand, it is necessary to follow precise guidelines around working conditions and workers rights, defending fair wages, addressing toxic pesticide and chemical use, using and/or developing eco-friendly fabrics and components, banning single-use plastic packs, minimising water use, recycling and addressing energy, developing or promoting sustainability standards for fashion and protecting animal rights.
As designers or professionals in the fashion industry, the aim is finding a compromise between ethical work and creativity, whilst celebrating nature, respecting it and giving it back for being so magnanimous with humanity and inspiring creative minds. It’s time to question consciences and understand responsiblity for the creative process and how to contribute to the preservation of nature.
As a consumers, trying to find a balance between where we purchase, what we need and a way to stay away from low-quality goods is a great way to start a new ethical mindset not only by the way we dress but also in the way we continue to think about fashion.
Alessandra Guerrieri studied Communication and Social Media and later specialised in Communication and Fashion Journalism. She has contributed articles to Vogue Italy where her creativity has been expressed through her fashion writing, as she holds a vast knowledge in fashion culture and history.