Fashion's Earth Day Picks

by Hetty Mahlich on 22 April 2022

Brands including Valentino and the Armani Group have made fresh pledges in support og making fashion more sustainable.

Brands including Valentino and the Armani Group have made fresh pledges in support og making fashion more sustainable.

The air mileage of our wardrobes is a big problem; garments and their various components are typically flown around the world before they make it into stores as a finished product. Then, of course, there's the fashion week circus, zig zagging from New York to Europe, with travelling shows to venues such as Greece also making a comeback. In response, Maison Valentino have partnered with airline company Air France and KLM to support the Sustainable Aviation Fuel corporate programme. Aiming to reduce the total C02 emissions per passenger and working towards a climate goal of zero CO2 emissions by 2050 through initiatives such as using alternative, more sustainable fuels sources from recycled materials and forest residues, Air France and KLM have been working towards reducing the harmful impact of aviation for several years. As a leading client for Air France and KLM, Maison Valentino are putting their weight behind being accountable for their air miles and the resulting C02 emissions they accumulate each year. It's encouraging to see a brand taking action on Earth Day, rather than settling for releasing themed products which only encourage consumption.

Valentino's partnership with Air France and KLM

London concept store MACHINE-A's latest graduate project Photosynthesize with Olivia Rubens, is challenging the ways in which we interact with our clothes, and requires for wearers to care for their clothes as living organisms, with the fabrics coated in a substance which actively photosynthesises. The project encourages buyers to scan a QR code and report back regularly about their garments and how they react to everyday life. ‘I want people to have that individual agency. There are people who will be value-based and be excited about this project, but I'm excited to also try and re-shape people who aren't perhaps value-based, or doubt their individual agency when it comes to climate solutions’, the designer explained in a recent interview with SHOWstudio.

Italian designer Giorgio Armani, who oversees his namesake brand together with Emporio Armani, has relaunched the Armani/Values initiative and website. Armani/Values documents the efforts of the Armani Group to take responsible, ethical business decisions through People, Planet and Prosperity, setting an example as a leading figure in the Italian fashion system. Efforts for the Planet include reforestation, such as the 'Emporio Armani Green Project', and biodiversity conservation and sustainable material choices.

'I think that as a designer and entrepreneur I do have responsibilities towards other people, I have always remained true to authentic and solid values in my practice. I do this by designing timeless objects that are pure and minimal, inspired by the idea that less is more and made to last over time', the designer said in a statement. He added, 'Fashion can contribute to the current renewal underway by realigning itself to meet people’s actual needs, while protecting and in full respect of the common good – namely, the social fabric and the environment.'

Giorgio Armani

In other news, Ebay have launched a marketplace for 'flawed' fashion, Imperfects, featuring brands including Gucci and Prada, where items are discounted due to minor flaws, such as scuffs or the odd missing button. Elsewhere in the luxury sector, Fendi have announced plans to use a plastic-free, sustainable fur using keratin, although there remains to be a high demand for the real stuff in the private client market, and it's likely real fur sales will continue to go on behind closed doors.

Fendi S/S 22 womenswear

We couldn't talk about Earth Day without mentioning Stella McCartney, a leading force for making fashion more responsible. The British designer launched the first garments created from vegan mushroom leather last year, developing her own Mylo™️ fabric. Accessories featuring the material appeared on the S/S 22 runway, in a collection which also featured forest-friendly viscose and linen, together with organic cotton.

Vivienne Westwood, a notorious climate activist, has also drawn attention to their S/S 22 collection which sees the label's staple tailoring reworked with fully traceable and sustainable Merino wool certified by NATIVA™, described as 'the first global wool brand to provide Blockchain traceability from farm to consumer ensuring ethical standards are met throughout the process'.

Stella McCartney S/S 22

UGG have also used the opportunity to build on their commitment to less harmful materials in addition to restoring one million acres of farmland by 2025, by releasing their second carbon-neutral collection. The Icon-Impact line includes the first classic UGG boot with that super soft sheepskin fans of the brand love so much, sourced from regenerative agriculture farms.




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