Perhaps it is the looming danger of climate change. Maybe it is the increase in consumer awareness. Or it might just be a greater sense of social purpose. Whatever the motivating factors are, there are many luxury designers embracing sustainability. More and more luxury fashion houses are developing sustainability plans which focus on a variety of features. Better working conditions, sustainable materials, and processes that leave little impact on the earth are all issues these fashion makers are addressing. Here are three sustainable designers who are leading the environmental fashion charge in 2019.
Stella McCartney has long been a front runner when it comes to designers embracing sustainability. From the very beginning, this fashion-forward designer has never used fur or leather in her work. She continues to be a leader in the area, with an entire section of her website devoted to sustainability. Her brand’s mission statement also covers many areas of sustainability in fashion.
We are agents of change. We challenge and push boundaries to make luxurious products in a way that is fit for the world we live in today and the future: beautiful and sustainable. No compromises.
Each decision we make is a symbol of our commitment to defining what the future of fashion looks like. From never using leather or fur and pioneering new alternative materials to utilising cutting edge technologies, pushing towards circularity, protecting ancient and endangered forests and measuring our impact with ground-breaking tools.
In 2007, Tom Ford spoke at a luxury conference in Moscow and stated, “For many people today, true luxury comes from being able to enjoy beautiful things that haven’t had a destructive impact on the planet or on other people. For example, I know many men and women who would pay more, possibly much more, for a luxury item that they knew had not harmed the planet in its production. And if, for example, this item had a tiny detail that communicated to the world that its wearer was not only chic and stylish but also had a conscience and was a good citizen, then would that not be the ultimate status symbol?”
Fans may not be aware that Tom Ford has been a sustainable designer in fashion for over a decade. Ford’s factories employ local artisans who enjoy standard working hours, medical insurance, and also safe working conditions. He has built his business by employing craftsman and using decades-old mills that have been in business for a long time and which leave little negative impact on the Earth. In 2017, Tom Ford received an award for his commitment to Italian craftsmanship. He accepted the Green Carpet Fashion Award for Best International Designer Supporting “Made in Italy.”
In 2017, Gucci famously announced that the house was going fur-free. The move was just a small part of the luxury brand’s initiative to develop a “culture of purpose.” Gucci also recently unveiled a ten-year sustainability plan. This innovative plan to improve sustainability is to further their goal to create a responsible business. This innovative vision will guide the Fashion House into the next century. Gucci president and CEO, Marco Bizzarri, explains the ten-year sustainability plan this way.
“Together, by committing to a culture of purpose, taking responsibility and encouraging respect, inclusivity and empowerment, we want to create the necessary conditions for a progressive approach to sustainability.”
So, which of these designers embracing sustainability is your favorite? Do you have any more sustainable designers to add to our list? For more fabulous eco-friendly and sustainable product ideas, see our article about the eco-luxury fashion lines that support fair trade.