With Paris Fashion Week finishing just this week, let’s take a look back at the impressive presentations of ethical fashion at this season’s fashion weeks across the globe. AW/11 is going to be an exciting season full of futuristic shapes and shades of burnt orange and midnight blue.
Garnering a lot of media hype at NYFW, Organic by John Patrick impressed fashion fans with a prairie-inspired collection of chunky knits, floral maxi-dresses, mid-length lace skirts, wooly plaid blazers and leather shorts. Buttoned-up, layered, slouchy, cropped and lacey! “Organic is fashion first” is John Patrick’s mantra. Well, we couldn’t agree more.
Taking a more military approach to cable-knit jumpers and wooly trousers, Bodkin‘s AW/11 presentation is equally as impressive. A mix of textures and shades of muted blues and greens, the esthetic remains true to the Bodkin core but with a much more layered, cozy vibe. Manufactured in New York City and sourced as environmentally and socially ethical as possible, Bodkin strives to embed sustainability in good design.
Many of London’s eminent ethical designers raised the stakes this season with the most cohesive and design-led collections to date, complete with a few showstopping pieces. Upcycling guru label Goodone pulled out an impressive next collection mixing the usual Goodone signature – an amalgamation of reclaimed clothing – with a more subdued approach, encompassing a range of earthly tones and materials. The brand’s philosophy is “to work with what already exists to achieve more.” Mission Accomplished.
Henrietta Ludgate also showcased the strongest collection to date. Her stand at LFW was amongst the busiest of the season. People queued just to try on her Jetsons-inspired take on the quilted outdoor jacket in a lovely steel blue shade. The collection was much more edgy than her previous work. Think studded cuffs and collars, soft grey leather biker jackets and vests, and sculptural shoulders and neck lines. Ludgate’s ethical mission is to source and produce locally to her Scottish Highlands home, drawing design inspiration from Scottish traditions and folklore.
Only in its second season, Partimi‘s AW/11 ‘Garden’ collection presented an dreamy and ethereal array of printed dresses, silky trousers and chunky jackets. Inspired by the designer’s childhood memories of lush winter gardens, the print designs have been taken from old family photos while materials have been sourced from local organic and ethical suppliers. Not only is the collection thoroughly wearable but it could also appeal to many different personal styles and ages. This gorgeous gown could be paired with big black platforms and a biker jacket for an edgier look or with a soft, sweeping up-do and a string of pearls for a more classic style.
Tranoi is a tradeshow during Paris Fashion Week that handpicks the hottest and freshest emerging designers from across the world to showcase amongst the leading luxury fashion brands. Launderette featured a sustainable label from Malaysia last month that is amongst this small group of hot, new designers. ULTRA aims to blend eco-consciousness with radical fashion ideas. Anita Hawkins, co-founder of the brand, explains: “Every piece made, the way it falls, the way it holds, the way it folds and the texture that caresses your skin—it’s all made of sustainable substances, unbeknownst to the wearer. They are boasting of organic materials, soy and bamboo fibers, recycled PET, TPU, salmon skin and biodegradable Tencel, which embodies our design features and harmonizes with the other fabrics used in the collection. It is earth-conscious luxury.” We like to think of the brand as a bit like Alexander Wang kidnapped by eco-warriors from the future.
Alberta Ferretti also announced during Milan Fashion week that the label is working on a capsule collection with Harry Potter actress and fair-trade fashion activist, Emma Watson. “I’m pleased that a luxury brand such as Alberta Ferretti has decided to create ecological clothes,” Watson told WWD . “I believe this is a big step forward for all of the international fashion industry, but also an important step for an increased sensitivity to the problem of ecology.”
Felt-artist, Vilte Kazlauskaite, has collaborated with fashion designer Josephus Thimister for his AW11 presentation. Felt is one of the oldest textiles in the world and is hand-crafted using just wool, soap and water by exposing wool fibres to friction in an entangling process. The result of her technique known as Nuno Felting is the material which makes these incredible voluminous and ethereal looking jackets and capes.