Over the past few years, the term ‘sustainability’ and ‘eco-conscious fashion’ has permeated our jargon. A shifting focus towards homegrown labels and patronising local craftsmen and artisans has been the bedrock of the movement, and we’ve witnessed growing innovations in manufacturing processes to eliminate the negative environmental impact. Stella McCartney is one of the big champions of ditching our old understanding of ‘luxury’ and looking towards the future of fashion with a more environmentally responsible lens. When asked about whether her 2017 collection made out of plastic salvaged from the ocean would qualify as being ‘luxurious’ or not, the designer said, “How can that not be a luxury?!”
Many new, homegrown brands have sustainability and eco-consciousness ingrained in their core philosophy and have offered an optimistic look at the future of the fashion industry. But what about the old and established players? As World Environment Day is just around the corner, let’s take a look at some of our favourite designers and labels who have committed themselves to saving the planet…
The British designer has been a pioneer of the sustainable fashion movement for a long time. The label has been one of the few luxury labels that have fully committed to an eco-conscious approach to fashion. The brand is cruelty-free, avoids fur and leather completely, uses ethically-sourced raw materials, employs 100 percent PVC-free packaging, and supports initiatives like Parley For Ocean, Bioplanet, and Million Trees Miami. The brand also recently announced the first-ever bag made out of mushroom leather.
Anita Dongre is one of the few major Indian designers who have consciously made efforts to be sustainable as well as environmentally responsible. Aside from initiatives that benefit rural women and local artisans, the label focuses on eco-conscious practices, like using biodegradable fabrics that come from renewable resources, partnering with organisations like Lucro Pstecycle Private Limited for plastic waste management, and upcycling the waste generated in the manufacturing processes to make sellable products and empower rural woman employed through organisations like Goonj and NEPRA. According to the brand, they upcycle up to 2000kgs of waste every month through this practice.
Péro by Aneeth Arora is well-known for being a sustainable fashion brand. The label uses natural dyes for its handcrafted creations and employs the practice of upcycling to reduce textile waste. Through the use of locally-sourced materials and patronage of indigenous craftsmen, the label has managed to be environmentally and socially conscious at the same time.
This Illinois-based designer’s proclivity towards recycling and giving new life to discarded clothing to create fashion for a diverse range of sizes has made it popular for being sustainable and inclusive. The label also partners with second-hand shops like Renew and Waste No More to reduce fashion waste.
11.11/ Eleven Eleven
The brainchild of designers Shani Himanshu and Mia Morikawa, this label focuses on using natural materials in the production process to avoid polluting the environment. In an interview with HELLO!, Himanshu had said, “At 11.11, we live by the philosophy of questioning whatever you’re using. That includes anything we would do.” According to the designer, benign sustainable and environmentally conscious has become ingrained in all their practices.