The fashion industry is one of the forefronts of new and exciting design. Whilst this type of practice can sometimes unknowingly promote the unethical and unsustainable side effects of modern consumerism, a new generation of fashion eco-warriors are redefining the way traditional fashion can be ethically and contemporarily transformed.

 Gary Harvey | SS08

The well-established calendrical cycle of seasonal fashion often infers a designer’s modern interpretation of history, their regular creation of fresh concepts and designs sculpted by new materials. However, recently there has also been an increasing trend to remake the old, with innovative designers putting a sustainable and ethical spin on fashion.

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Faustine Steinmetz | 2016 Collection

Striving to make ordinary clothes feel extraordinary, designer Faustine Steinmetz encompasses the psyche of sustainability. Believing overconsumption is the one of the planets main issues, the french designer creates intricate hand-loomed pieces from recycled thrift-store jeans. With a fine array of sensible artisan techniques, the Parisians objective is to inspire minimal consumption by offering exceptional design quality. (Vogue, 2016)

Liora Lassalle | Soft Fruit & Hard Lines | SS14

Liora Lassalle’s sustainable brand has a strong environmentally conscious philosophy. Liora’s upbringing in the countryside has implanted a strong personal appreciation and respect for nature, and the mentality to value, not waste.

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Liora Lassalle | Soft Fruit & Hard Lines | SS14

Liora’s SS14 collection, Soft Fruit and Hard Lines, is heavily inspired by Brazil’s Carmen Miranda, whose style was an exotic blend of aromatic colours famously elementalised with the distinctive traditional fruit hat worn by fruit sellers at that time. Putting a “wild, wacky and wearable” (Vogue Italia, 2013) take on this inspiration, the result is a vibrantly exciting line-up of garments made from upcycled denim and organic hemp blends that maintain the carbon footprint to a minimum.

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Christopher Raeburn | Parachute Dress | 2010

A well established pioneer in the arena of sustainable fashion, Christopher Raeburn, was the winner of the 2008 Ethical Fashion Forum’s Innovation competition. The British designer has been making waves in the fashion world with his upcycled, stylish yet functional outerwear. His ‘remade’ philosophy is always at the core of his designs, primarily featuring a range of recycled military fabrics to produce waterproof and durable pieces with a modern aesthetic. Raeburn’s ‘Parachute Dress’ is one of the centrepieces of his 2010 collection of dresses and parkas made from recycled decommissioned military parachutes. His pioneering reinterpretation of military fabrics conveys a sense of luxury and honesty, allowing the doors of sustainable design to be opened to mainstream fashion. 

Christopher Raeburn | SARAWAK SS16

Collection after collection, Raeburn has been reworking surplus garments, taking full advantage of their high quality and longevity by turning them into meaningfully stylish garments. As a result, his utilitarian attitude towards fashion has allowed a dialogue to be opened with men and women. More recently, the SS16 womenswear collection has transitioned from outerwear made from upcycled military materials to a lighter, fresher feel. Inspired by the Bornean jungle, the collection features the “elemental colour palette of the traditional adventurer” constructed from reworked materials and recycled yarn, creating a relaxed and unrestrained silhouette. (Raeburn, 2015)

Bottletop | Stephanie Clutch | DKNY X Bottletop Collection SS15

DKNY and Bottletop’s collaboration for the SS15 collection showcases Bottletop’s signature handcrafted accessories made from recycled bottle tops. Bottletop founders Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman define their company as a social enterprise that utilise fashion as a “vehicle for generating high artisan skill-sets among people in challenging environments” (Bottletop, 2015).

Bottletop | Stephanie Clutch | DKNY X Bottletop Collection SS15

Bottletop’s functional and easy to wear bags are complementary of DKNY’s simple and modern dress sense, making their collaboration an effective embodiment of their chic street style. Most importantly, this collection helps to fund vital health education programs for communities in South American and Africa.

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Ezekiel Design Studio  | Black & White Stick Earrings | Flat Drop Earrings

Paying close attention to the finer details, Israeli designer Shimon Ezekiel diligently constructs his collection from unwanted or recycled materials. With strong beliefs that it’s a pivotal time for the future of sustainability, Ezekiel presents each product as a beautiful simulacrum for emphasised dedication and care.

SHOP ECO WITH EZEKIEL

Written by Alice Pearce

Edited by Christina Wright

References

Kin-Tsugi goods (2014) Kin-Tsugi goods: About. Available at: http://kin-tsugigoods.com/about/ (Accessed: 24 Februrary 2016)

Lea Stewart (2015) Kin-Tsugi goods upcycles vintage garments into wearable art. Available at: http://www.ecouterre.com/kin-tsugi-goods-upcycles-vintage-garments-into-wearable-art/ (Accessed: 24 Februrary 2016)

Christopher Raeburn (2015) News | SS16 SARAWAK Womenswear. Available at: http://www.christopherraeburn.co.uk/news (Accessed: 29 February 2016)

Matamba Kombila (2015) Abrima and Rosario: up-cycling at Studio 189.Available at: http://trueafrica.co/article/abrima-and-rosario-up-cycling-at-studio-189/ (Accessed: 25 Februrary 2016)

Bottletop (2015) DKNY X Bottletop launches in London. Available at: http://bottletop.org/blogs/news/18067904-dkny-x-bottletop-launches-in-london (Accessed: 26 Februrary 2016)

Vogue Italia (2013) Liora Lassalle. Available at: http://www.vogue.it/en/talents/contests-and-more/2013/07/liora-lassalle-contest-wowcracy#ad-image290771 (Accessed: 1 March 2016)