London Fashion Week Stakes its Reputation on Sustainability

Both emerging designers and heritage brands put their best heel forward towards sustainability on the Spring/Summer runways.

Recycled plastics, no fur, eco-friendly production processes… it’s highly likely that London Fashion Week (LFW) will be the most sustainable five day escapade there is this month.

LFW follows a highly anticipated NYFW every year, and this September it established an ecological standard for Milan and Paris Fashion Week designers to live up to. First with the British Fashion Council (BFC) banning fur, then with Burberry announcing that it will no longer be using real fur and will stop incinerating dead stock, and then with an 100 per cent sustainable opening night thanks to Vin + Omi.

While show goers gathered around the Grand Terrace of St. Pancras International on Sept. 13, 2018, the designer duo held their largest event to date that helped celebrate the reopening of St. Pancras station’s public water fountain to help cut the use of plastic bottles. Vin + Omi made a statement by featuring only clothes crafted from eco-sustainable textiles and processes.

The next day, The Regent Street Cinema showed an exclusive screening of The True Cost movie hosted by Annie Lennox; a film about the human and environmental costs that the production of clothes has on the earth featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers in sustainable fashion and advocacy including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva.

Perhaps two of the most awaited and photographed shows this LFW were Richard Malone and Burberry. Since the inception of his brand, Malone has been committed to being a sustainable brand with his textiles revolving around recycled plastics and hand-woven fabrics by an all-female community in India.

Malone’s earliest collections also used recycled materials from a building site his father worked on, which were reflected in the fence-like details in his designs on the catwalk. A new relationship with Italian fabric house Taroni, named the “Most Sustainable Producer” by the Green Carpet Fashion Awards last year, has added another element to his Spring/Summer collection as well.

Not only did Burberry make a splash with walking 133 models down the runway on Monday, the brand’s new artistic director Riccardo Tisci announced that he put an end to lighting up piles of unsold product in order to reduce emissions.

After launching a responsibility agenda last year, Burberry was recently named the leading luxury brand in the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which tracks the performance of companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria. The company has been apart of the index for four years as a result of a series of eco-friendly initiatives.

Now it’s time to see just how sustainable Milan Fashion Week (MLF) will get.

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