New York Fashion Week Missing The Most Important Design Element For 2021 — Sustainability

Don’t get me wrong, there were more sustainable brands featured at the 2021 New York Fashion Week than years past. I’ll get to those brands in a minute!

Another positive: the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which owns and runs both spring and fall NYFWs released a study called Sustainability by Design Rethinking New York Fashion Week, which addressed issues related to waste and pollution in this industry.

So I was sort of expecting sustainability to be a much greater part of the conversation this year. I mean come on, it’s 2021, and the United Nations just released its most dire warnings about climate change, calling it a “code red for humanity. The 3000-plus-report authored by more than 200 scientists explained how the sea level rise is accelerating which will result in worsening extremes in heat waves, droughts, floods and storms.

Fashion Industry Come Clean

The fashion industry is well aware of the fact that they are a very large contributor in polluting our planet. They also know how Millennials and Gen Zers, who have the largest buying power now, feel about supporting brands that are socially responsible. Just take a quick look at some facts about the two generations below. Remember more than half of this country’s total population are millennials or younger.

Millennials & Sustainable Fashion:

  • 92 million strong

  • Largest buying power of 1.4 trillion dollars

  • Might become the richest generation in history as they start to inherit their parent’s (baby boomers) wealth

  • Millennials have high expectations of brands, care about their values and actions within their communities

  • 90% of millennials say they’d switch brands based on values and/or causes

Generation Z & Sustainable Fashion:

Why So Little Focus on Sustainability? The Fashion Industry Knows Better.

The fashion industry KNOWS they need to focus on sustainability if they want to thrive in the next few decades. I get it… it’s expensive, super complicated and let’s be honest, it’s not an overnight fix. It’s going to take long term commitments.

I thought I’d see more progress in New York and I’m hoping LA’s Fashion Week is going to feature more eco-friendly designers.

That said, I’d like to spotlight a few sustainable brands from NYFW.

SUSTAINABLE BRANDS AT NEW YORK FASHION WEEK:

Natalia Trevino Amaro

Natalia was at NYFW. She makes handmade sustainable clothing. She believes in slow fashion and launched her new brand in June of 2020.

Natalia’s clothes are sustainable because they are made from the following:

  • Deadstock Fabrics

  • Natural Fiber Fabrics

  • Thrifted Fabrics

  • Remnants

  • Personal Scraps

Good on You Environmental Rating: No rating listed

Chromat

This company was founded by Becca McCharen-Tran in 2010. Her designs have been worn by Beyonce, Madonna, Nicki Minaj and Jessican Chastin. Chromat has safe, ethical and fair-wage factories in New York City and Sofia, Bulgaria.

McCharen-Tran makes her clothing from regenerated nylon spun from fishing nets and recycled plastic bottles. To date their nylon mill has worked with an international diving team and removed 160 tons of nets and plastics from the world’s oceans, turning them into yarn.

Good On You Environmental Rating: Chromat’s environment rating is ‘it’s a start’.

Chopova Lowena

It’s designers, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena prioritize sustainability by using recycled materials and deadstock textiles. Deadstock textiles are the leftover fabrics from other fashion companies.

They also give job opportunities to creative, passionate, and skilled artisans in Bulgaria.

Good on You Environmental Rating: Chopova Lowena’s environmental rating is ‘good’.

Colville 

Designers Lucinda Chambers and Molly Molloy started the luxury brand Colville. They say they are the “antitheses of fast fashion”.

Their passion lies in creating pieces of artwork that their customers cherish and keep. They’ve also adopted sustainable practices such as using upcycled materials and donating profits to charitable organizations that support and empower women.

Good on You Environmental Rating: No rating listed

 Rosie Assoulin 

Rosie Assoulin became a New York favorite for her fun designs. Assoulin is sourcing locally, making all her designs in the city’s Garment District and does not use any animal products or skins in her fashion line.

These steps help reduce her carbon footprint.

Good on You Environmental Rating: Rosie Assoulin’s environment rating is not good enough.

If you have any questions, please contact me at LexySilverstein@gmail.com.

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