gabriela hearst carbon neutral fashion show
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Gabriela Hearst’s S/S20 Runway at NYFW Will be the First Ever Carbon Neutral Show

Fashion with a conscience

Today, Uruguay-born, New York City-based designer Gabriela Hearst will present her S/S20 collection at NYFW – and the entire runway presentation will be completely carbon neutral for the first time ever.

As noted by Vogue’s sustainability expert, Emily Farra, fashion weeks are one of the least eco-friendly events going around. From disposable seating to plastic water bottles and just about everything else in between, the fashion show is designed for a moment, and nothing more. Hearst, however, wants to change that.

This week, the designer (in partnership with her production agency Bureau Betak and sustainability advisors EcoAct) announced that for her upcoming show she would only book models she didn’t have to fly in, would use a catering service that cooks with local and seasonal ingredients and would reduce energy usage backstage. Plus, she’s going to donate the equivalent of the energy costs associated with the show to Hifadhi-Livelihoods Project in Kenya to help convert wood-fired, gas stoves to cookstoves to significantly reduce the amount of hours women and children spend foraging for wood. And that’s still not all – Hearst will also make a donation to Our Children’s Trust, the US non-profit organization suing the government for its role in climate change, on behalf of each guest.

Speaking with Vogue US, Hearst said, “I love what I do but I have to find ways that I’m not adding to the problem. I thought that this was the best thing that really engages me towards the show. If we don’t know our impact, we can’t reduce it. The goal is to set an industry standard.”

Hearst is well on her way to doing just that already, having switched to biodegradable and compostable packaging for all of her products, using leftover materials for new season collections and eliminating harmful fabrics (like viscose or polyester) from her pieces altogether. In another pre-show interview, Hearst added, “There are ways to make a difference but we have to realize that the future of our planet is very important.”

Here’s hoping that if anything from fashion week inspires consumers and designers for next season, it’s this.

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