Sustainability on the Runway

We’ve all heard the news. Australian bushfires, rising sea levels, melting snowcaps. We are living in the time of Greta Thunberg – a 16 year old who was compelled to call the adults out on their wasteful ways. The fashion industry, as the second largest pollutant in the world, has been under the screeners for some time now. Fashion, our instant feel-good medium has had to adapt to what feeling good really means in 2020. Does it mean a new luxury that involves wearers knowing who made their clothes? Does it mean shopping within our wardrobe and finding new ways to rewear what we own? Yes, and yes.

At the September 2019 Fashion Week, designers and brands finally stepped up their sustainability game. Whether it was Stella McCartney and LVMH hosting a panel on sustainability in Paris, or Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen repurposing old collections for the runway, and Dior planting trees for the future as part of its set — brands were all aboard the sustainability train. We take a closer look at the moments that had us inching closer to a world without polluted oceans from chemical dyes washing up from factories and haze-covered air from luxury brands burning dead stock. 

A Green Dior Runway (Quite Literally)

Maria Grazia Chiuri partnered with Coloco, a collective of botanists and urban landscapers, to create a never-seen-before sustainable Paris Fashion Week garden. Populated by 164 trees sourced from nurseries in France, Germany and Italy, the set highlighted the need for biodiversity to survive climate change.


Stella McCartney’s Cry for Change

Each seat at Stella McCartney’s New York show held a note that read ‘the world is crying out for change and it’s our responsibility to act now.’ 75% of the clothes at her show were created from zero impact fabrics such as recycled polyester, sustainable viscose and Econyl, while the accessories were made out of hemp and sustainable raffia. Here’s to eating your greens and wearing them too. 

 Alexander McQueen on Patchworking Old into New

The tailored blazer that remains Sarah Burton’s signature was made of upcycled fabrics from previous collections. Remnants of tulle, organza and lace were used to create the ruffles that spill out of the blazer.  

 Givenchy’s Mantra of Wear, Rewear, Repeat

Claire Waight Keller’s focus on denim for her Spring/Summer 2020 show was made evident right from the invitations that composed of small squares of acid-wash denim, and then the show that had an array of hard-working blue denim. Adding authenticity (and sustainability) to her ‘90s inspired show was the use of upcycled vintage denim from archival Givenchy collections. 

Louis Vuitton Challenging the True Cost of a Fashion Show 

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The uncharacteristically simple set seen at Louis Vuitton was actually sourced from sustainably managed pine forests in the Landes region of France. The brand also partnered with Airstock, a company which recovers and recycles props, sets and stage equipment from various artistic productions and redistributes them.


Kudos to the women in fashion leading responsible conscious, change! Consume conscious with Le Mill.