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In the ever-evolving world of fashion, trends –and garments—come and go. In the last couple of years, though, a shift towards eco-friendly fashion production has exponentially grown, making designers and consumers more conscious of how clothing production can impact the environment. An influx of designers, both new and renowned, have embraced eco-conscious techniques to minimize the fashion industry’s harm on the planet.
The fashion industry has had its share of backlash about its environmental impacts and social integrity. Fashion production has a significant negative effect on the Earth due in large part to chemical pollutants, waste created by unsold goods and high use of water for textile creation and manufacturing. In terms of ethics, consumers are also examining company culture: are wages, benefits and working conditions fair to employees? Are chemicals harmful to workers being used during production? Consumers are no longer shopping without considering the long-term repercussions of their purchases.
In a cyclical industry, a garment’s life span must also be scrutinized. The growing eco-fashion movement has lured savvy consumers away from procuring pieces that are part of quick-moving trends to investing in timeless and well-constructed pieces. Creating those staple pieces that will remain in a client’s closet for extended periods is an important goal for any designer embracing sustainable fashion efforts.
Below, we look at three luxury designers who have joined the fight for sustainable fashion.
Designer Alice Early launched her eponymous label in 2018 and has since committed herself to ensure that all her garments are created in the most ethical ways possible. Stylistically, Early’s creations are timeless and chic, manufactured with fabrics like organic cotton and wool sheared from free-range, pasture-fed sheep. No detail is too small to be overlooked by the designer, who uses Corozo in place of plastics to craft buttons. Derived from the Taqua Palm, Corozo is taken as the palm’s nut naturally falls. Based in London, Alice Early also makes sure that her shipping and packaging materials are sustainably sourced and recyclable. This season, the designer has implemented a made-to-order model to limit any waste produced through overproduction.
Founder Sofia Shannon created Amur –an acronym for A Mindful Use of Resources—under the notion that stylish pieces shouldn’t harm the environment. The firm works closely with suppliers to source and create unique and vivid fabrics. Amur’s pro-environmental focus relies heavily on the materials used: organic silk and cotton are central to the collections, while regenerated textiles (waste materials that are repurposed into fiber) are used to create trims. As water production is important when dealing with eco-fashion, the firm also utilizes natural fibers like linen and hemp that require small doses of water for growth. Amur’s feminine silhouettes and bold prints are proof that sustainable can be joyful.
Before starting her Malibu-based accessories line, Vicki von Holzhausen was an award-winning designer working in the European automotive industry. Upon her return to her native California, von Holzhausen started her earth-friendly line comprised of minimalistic, easy to wear pieces. The firm currently crafts bags, wallets, and belts using their very own Technik-leather, a completely animal-free material that mimics the suppleness and durability of traditional leather, while weighing less. When creating the premium material, the conservation of raw materials and minimal dependency on natural resources are of utmost concern to von Holzhausen. All products are crafted in the United States to ensure that craftsmen are receiving fair wages. ■