Sustainable Clothing @ London Fashion Week

Picture: New York Times

Picture: New York Times

Even in the current economic turmoil we’ve counted on fashionistas to be glamorous and over-the-top, especially during events like London Fashion Week, currently sweeping through the city.

But this year, things might be a little different, “I am looking forward to seeing how our designers cope with the current mood,” says Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue, “Often, times of economic difficulty for some reason encourage interesting ideas and creativity.”

What might surprise Alexandra, is that not all interesting and creative ideas showcased during LFW has come from designers, an unlikely candidate, Lord Hunt, Minister of Sustainability, has chosen to use the interest in LFW to launch his ministry’s ‘Sustainable Clothing Action Plan‘ (SCAP).

The Action Plan was announced at the estethica showcase, where 37 ethical designers, including founding labels Noir and Bllack Noir, come together with their works that adhere to 1 of 3 estethica principles: Organic, Fair trade or Recycled.

But what is SCAP?

It is, a series of Green Pledges by some of Britain’s leading garment retailers.

These pledges involve initiatives like..

  • Increase Range of Fair Trade and Organic Fashion
    • Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury
  • Take-Backof unwanted clothing to enable Recycling
    • Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury
  • Open more ‘Sustainable’ boutiques that focus on quality 2nd hand clothing
    • Oxfam, Salvation Army Trading

But the plan is not just the sum of these commitments, a key aspect of it in these actions being discussed and coordinated among all stakeholders in the industry.

So, did Lord Hunt’s SCAP outshine the designers at estethica? I doubt it, after all, it IS about aesthetic creativity here. But it does seem like a well coordinated effort by the British Government to make the UK a leader in Sustainable Fashion.

P.S. – One of this writer’s favourite designers at estethica is ‘From Somewhere‘, a label that recycles Luxury Designer Pre-consumer Waste (e.g. proofs, swatches, off-cuts), turning them into gorgeous clothes. Check them out at their London boutique on Portobello Road.

Download the Full Sustainable Clothing Action Plan: Here

More details at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Website

Also Blogged At: Ethical Living, BusinessGreen, TreehuggerTextileBol, MRW

More on Estethica here: Inhabitat, GreenMyStyle

Also of Interest: Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s @ London College of Fashion Blog

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14 Responses to “Sustainable Clothing @ London Fashion Week”

  1. 1 Albert 20 February, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    The SCAP’s initiative, Increase Range of Fair Trade and Organic Fashion, is an excellent primary principle. By increasing environmental performance across the supply chain, with sustainable design, fibres and fabrics, maximising reuse, recycling and end of life management, and clothes cleaning, the Minister of Sustainability is set to improve the sustainability of performance of clothing.

  2. 2 aaronfu 21 February, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Albert! Yes it IS a great principle, I do hope the initiative doesn’t lose momentum after its launch.. and that the launch at fashion week encourages more boutique designers to participate in the initiative.

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