It all began back in August when ELLE UK dedicated its September issue entirely to sustainability and has since turned into a truly momentous month for sustainable fashion around the world.
With September traditionally being the biggest month for the industry, punctuated by fashion weeks in London, Milan, New York and Paris, the timing was perfect and expectations high.
Sustainability has long abandoned its humble corner in the glitzy world of fashion revelries. It has claimed its rightful place on the catwalks and the red carpets, and has shed its former image as mainstream fashion’s ugly cousin.
With the industry’s ongoing search for new ideas, values and winning formulas, sustainable fashion is emerging as the one “most likely to succeed” in the race for consumers’ minds and wallets.
That’s why the news of London Fashion Week going entirely fur-free was hardly a surprise—it was merely a matter of time following the high-profile announcements made earlier by Versace, Gucci and Burberry. Indeed, going fur-free has turned into a fashion trend.
But the latter did not have a chance to capitalize on this newfound sustainability aura—September 2018 also marked a moment in time when brands could no longer get away with unsustainable practices. The outcry over Burberry’s burning of $35 million worth of unsold stock prompted the company’s pledge to stop the practice all too common in the luxury industry and clean up its act.
Burberry has since launched a partnership with a fellow British brand Elvis & Kresse, which built its sustainable luxury business on upcycling decommissioned London Fire Brigade’s fire-hose, and will now help transform leather off-cuts from the Burberry supply chain into new products.
And sustainable fashion just kept getting bigger and better throughout the month. At the Milan Fashion Week, Eco-Age has presented its second Green Carpet Fashion Awards together with the Italian Chamber of Fashion, while at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, First Ladies were treated to a sustainable fashion show displaying creations from across the Commonwealth.
Now that the glitterati are putting their tired feet up after a marathon fashion month, the question is: ‘what’s next?’. How can sustainable fashion keep up its momentum? And what are its next frontiers? Are we edging closer to an era when sustainability is the new normal? Time will tell, but for now, September 2018 has indeed proven to be a giant leap for sustainable fashion.