It is no secret that the fashion industry creates a lot of pollution annually by accumulating in landfills, excess use of materials and over production. The industry has argued that sales would tarnish with sustainability practices but with more consumers leading towards conscious decisions in the midst of a pandemic, luxury brands might have no choice but to adapt and protect the environment with sustainable practices.
Thankfully, we started seeing them adapt this past Spring and Fall at Fashion Week. Brands like Eileen Fisher, adidas, Bode, Heron Preston, Noah and the like all created beautiful collections by upcycling. Upcycling, or creating objects out of discarded objects to possess a greater value, allowed designers to work with damaged materials and repurposed them to keep them out of landfills. Ellery made their entire line by cutting up and piecing together old pieces, PH5 wove knitwear from old yarn, even Maison Margiela used old pieces to create new ones. It was clear that upcycling and sustainability was now trending.
These shows done almost entirely virtual this year, provide an interesting challenge for designers to be creative while being mindful of the scarcity and access to materials. Our hope is that it continues post-pandemic.
Photo via Tierney Gearson/Vogue