Normally, the topic of sustainability is pretty much ignored during official Fashion Weeks, however, this was certainly not the case in London. This year, we saw an increasing amount of designers incorporate natural and repurposed materials into their collections and several structured campaigns to encourage the switch to sustainable.
For instance, British designer Christopher Raeburn has been extremely influential in bringing the topic of sustainability into mainstream fashion through his love for repurposed and up-cycled materials. Known for his utilitarian designs and re-appropriation of military fabrics, Raeburn’s latest collection featured sporty silhouettes embellished with softer materials including repurposed silk from decommissioned parachutes. Raeburn’s success proves that sustainability and creativity can both shine on the catwalk, and should certainly inspire innovation when it comes to up-cycled fabric sourcing.
More formally, the British Fashion Council also launched a Positive Fashion initiative aimed at creating positive change within the fashion industry. In addition to model health and diversity, Positive Fashion promotes local manufacturing and craftsmanship as well as ethics and low-impact production.
This September, as part of the Positive Fashion initiative, the British Fashion Council teamed up with sustainable fashion legend Dame Vivienne Westwood, and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan to launch the ‘Fashion SWTICH to Green Campaign’. The ambitious collaborative campaign urges fashion businesses to SWITCH to green electricity suppliers to help the UK meet their climate goals as set out by the Paris Agreement by 2020. So far, brands such as Stella McCartney, Christopher Raeburn, Oliver Spencer, Harvey Nichols and of course Vivienne Westwood have all committed to the campaign. While this is a very specific campaign, it certainly shows that the tides are changing within the fashion industry as we move towards a more conscious and sustainable culture.