Sustainable designers are not only the new kids on the block, they are the talent breathing new life into the eco-friendly movement.
Besides eco-warrior Stella McCartney and highstreet brands like H&M’s Conscious Collection, it is great to witness more brands understanding that you no longer have to sacrifice super-cool style for sustainability . “Nobody wants to wear beige, undyed clothes” (Maria Cornejo of Zero + Maria Cornejo), everyone wants to be able to stylishly adorn a sustainable piece that say’s “my conscience is fashionably clear.”
So who are the labels to look out for? Well there is Sara Beltrán of Dezso, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of Tome, and Britt Cosgrove and Marina Polo of Svilu. Following an interview with the posh NY rag W magazine, they shared the following insights on the growing trend:
“Natural fibres that are locally sourced within region, are also being made by those sort of traditional techniques that have been around for forever.”
“When I sort of started, I felt like sustainability needed to not really be so much of a thing, and that it needed to coexist within a modern brand. From a design and product angle, the other thing that we really look at is sort of longevity of a garment and how that can last. [On Spring 2016 collection] Majority of fabrics are coming from artisans in developing countries. We use hand-woven cotton in Ethiopia and hand-woven silk from India, alpaca wool from Peru, and not only are those natural fibres that are locally sourced within region, they are also being made by those sort of traditional techniques that have been around for forever.”– Nicole Heim of Cienne
“The most important stage for us is fabric sourcing. We really try to incorporate as many sustainable fabrics and fibres within the collection.”
“We work from an approach of mindfulness. It’s all about taking those little decisions and making them a little more thoughtful. We kind of have these limits to work with, and for us that’s creativity exciting. We do carry fabrics from season to season, innovate with colour, with the way a fabric is treated, so it’s kind of a tighter edict for us. The most important stage for us is fabric sourcing. We really try to incorporate as many sustainable fabrics and fibres within the collection, whether it’s using organic cottons [or] recycling plastic bottle fabrics”. – Britt Cosgrove and Marina Polo of Svilu
“You can’t sustain a fashion model that speaks to the entire world that only feature Caucasian faces.”
“Sustainability is a holistic approach to our business. It’s a conflict with fashion today. It’s an industry that messages to everyone, buy something now and come back and buy something again in 6 months and throw out everything that you had before and replace it with something new. [On AW16 collection] We sourced shearling from a farm in Vermont. Those were total by product of sheep farming, so the meat and cheese. There’s a limited amount that they make every year, and you know, they’re completely raw goods. They’re untreated, they are undyed, completely natural, they just tick every box of what we’re trying to achieve, and at the same time they’re completely fashion. [On sustainability] We think of it as diversity as well. You can’t sustain a fashion model that speaks to the entire world that only feature Caucasian faces.”– Ryan Lobo & Ramon Martin of Tome
“We have to take control. Everything we make is hand-made and we only work with artisans.”
“We have to make an individual effort to make things better for us and the world. We have to take control. Everything we make is hand-made and we only work with artisans. We are very loyal….and I believe in long-term relationships”. – Sara Beltran of Dezso
Isn’t it refreshing to see such talented designers giving sustainability the green light? We love how they are recognising that to be mindful does not mean your garments have to be mindless . They can be stunningly beautiful all the while giving you a guilt-free shopping experience like never before. So it’s a big hoorah for sustainable fashion. It is no longer boringly hippy, it is instead, fashionable, trendy and most importantly accessible.