The preparation, paparazzi and parties encompassing the four big Fashion Weeks has drawn to a close, and the Spring Summer 2016 collections of fashion designers worldwide is now written in history. The catwalks of Milan, New York, London and Paris proved to be a visual feast, well documented in the glossies. We loved the overflowing creativity of all the designers, especially those who are embracing ethical and sustainable fashion either in their production methods, their materials, the campaign they’re highlighting, or all three. Here’s our edit of the fashion weeks, underlining how ethical fashion is slowly but surely working its way into the mainstream.

Vivienne Westwood at #PFW

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[Images courtesy of Indigital]

Queen of Punk Dame Vivienne Westwood is the ultimate rebellious designer with a penchant for shaking up the establishment, and this season’s collection does just that. The show, called Mirror The World, was inspired by a campaign to save Venice from climate change. This collection holds a torch to the cultural hub of Venice and its carnival vibes, where disguise allows you to transform from poor to rich, from plain to beautiful, and switching genders while you’re at it. Westwood used Savile Row techniques in her unisex tailoring, with some looks relishing the sharp contrast between masculinity and femininity. She incorporated natural beauty into some looks, going one step further than floral prints or even textures by using real flowers.

So what can we do to save Venice? Westwood says we need to join forces and demonstrate: The People’s March for Climate, Justice and Jobs is on Sunday 29th November in London and she’d like everyone to get involved. It’ll take place before international negotiations in Paris this December, when world leaders create an action plan to put the brakes on the acceleration of climate change by making changes in policy. This all ties into fashion neatly, as the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter after oil. With such a prominent fashion designer as Westwood drawing everyone’s attention to this issue, hopefully more people will be informed about the necessity of sustainable business practices.

Alexander Wang at #NYFW

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[Images courtesy of Steven Klein]

Alexander Wang is celebrating 10 years in business, and for the anniversary he paired up with charity DoSomething.org. Do Something gives young people the opportunity to instigate social change, and has over 3.6 million members. Successful campaigns include persuading Apple to include non-white emojis and convincing Merriam-Webster to change their definition of ‘nude’ to include non-white skin tones. For this campaign, Wang made t-shirts and hoodies and got lots of super famous celebrities involved, including vegan bombshell Pamela Anderson, the face of fashion in the 90s Kate Moss, and supermodel and actress Cara Delevingne. This another sterling example of weaving fresh new ethical campaigns in with the mainstream of the fashion world.

Zandra Rhodes at #LFW

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[Images courtesy of FirstVIEW]

Flamboyant Zandra Rhodes is a fervent advocate that sustainability can be totally fashionable at the same time. She believes that the fashion industry as a whole is capable of adapting its practices to fall in line with sustainability. “The only constant in fashion is change”, she says, and “change is what’s going to happen”. She worked with People Tree to bring out a collection this summer, working closely with artisans in social enterprises in India using organic cotton to create top quality accessible ethical fashion.

Whilst she was working with People Tree, the Rana Plaza disaster happened in Bangladesh, where an unsafe garment factory collapsed killing 1,113 workers and injuring over 2,500 in Dhaka. This tragedy brought the hidden side of the fashion industry to the public’s attention, as 97% of items are made overseas. As the True Cost documentary outlines, garment workers don’t have the same workers rights as we have in the West. The Rana Plaza disaster strengthened Rhodes’s belief that more designers had to work with ethical fashion brands. So, this year Rhodes’s SS16 collection was handmade in Malaysia by craftspeople being well looked after, proof that the change is already in motion.

Felder Felder at #LFW

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[Images courtesy of Amelia Allen Photography]

Sister duo Felder Felder develop their materials in-house, and have shunned leather by using faux materials to avoid animal cruelty, just like us. The Felders are committed vegans, and in their FW15 collection earlier this year, they didn’t use any animal products at all. Well, all except the human hair they used for the model’s artificial fringes. Like Beyond Skin, they want to combine quality and ethics in style.

Stella McCartney at #PFW

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[Images courtesy of Indigital]

This collection is “celebrating life – and celebrating women”, says Stella. Long-time ethical fashion designer Stella McCartney has subtly worked sustainability into the concept surrounding this collection. Vogue says that these looks bear no relation to the trends going on in the rest of the fashion world: “Stella does Stella’s thing”, and instead she made wearable wardrobe staples in this collection. This is exactly the direction in which sustainable fashion needs to go to achieve slow fashion. The difficult aspect of fashion always embracing change is that trends are often manifested in fast fashion outlets mass producing clothes cheaply, which gets repeated at a rapid rate. McCartney’s collection, however, seems timeless. She’s created free-moving loose summery dresses, sporty jersey polo shirts and wearable sleek workwear, ticking all boxes to create an entirely ethical fashion wardrobe.

Sustain at #BFW

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[Henrietta Ludgate, Sustain’s headline designer. Images courtesy of Gareth Gregg and Tanay Sharma]

Brighton Fashion Week last week was a feast of innovation in fashion, with one show in particular called Sustain focusing on (you guessed it) sustainable fashion! This was a showcase of eco-friendly fashion talent, and some models strutted in Beyond Skin shoes down the catwalk. Along with Beyond Skin’s celebrity support from lovely ladies Leona Lewis, Natalie Portman and Bond star Olga Kurylenko, we hope more and more people will become informed of the practices in the fashion industry, and support ethical and sustainable fashion in becoming mainstream.

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[Image courtesy of Alice Wilby, Novel Beings]

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Comments
  • Addresschic
    Reply

    Really Nice blog about the fashion week. As the latest trend that what comes in the market can be found out with the help of these type of fashion shows. As the vegan fashion is the latest trend as numerous celebrities help in promoting the vegan products because they are natural and cruelty free products and also to protect our environment by avoiding the animal products and organic products.

    As I recently visited addresschic and get to know about the latest fashion trends that are followed by numerous celebrities to follow veganism.

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