Sustainable UK developments at Paris Fashion Week
After almost a two-year hiatus, UK contemporary and luxury brands are back at Paris Fashion Week in force with responsible production high on the agenda. The enforced break gave many designers the opportunity to pause and reconsider the way they do things, returning with reinvigorated collections that continue to excite buyers yet limit their impact on the planet. Far from boring, the latest collections feature organic, recycled or earth-friendly fabrics alongside new innovative materials and are created using local small-scale manufacturing, ethical sourcing or circular processes.
This season more than ever before, UK brands are seeking to show that slower fashion doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style.
Read on to discover some of the latest developments…
For the new season, sustainable luxury brand BAV TAiLOR continues to reinforce its commitment in support of global craftsmanship, diversity, and ‘slow’ fashion through the brand’s conscious 360° manifesto. The new Ananda AW22/23 collection is focused on a syntrophy of conscious luxury and responsibility through new innovative materials such as Tencel Luxe, which is derived from renewable wood sources in a closed loop process offering a silky smooth handle, liquid-like drape and colour vibrancy. The latest collection, which can be seen at the Vice Versa showroom in Paris, also features innovative materials like Cactus vegan alternative leather and Italian Marble extract.
The latest Teija Eilola collection, which can be seen at Paper Mache Tiger, consists of handmade details and unique drapery that are cut to create one of a kind items with Nordic spirit. In this collection, Teija has used 1910 patent of Scottish Wax cotton, sustainably grown cashmere yarn in Traditional Aran patterns and Made in Italy fine quilted leather from local tanneries. “The new F22 collection is a blend of our exciting manipulated new details and textiles, from engineered elastic and pleating to Scottish Wax cotton outerwear with military edge,” said designer Teija Eilola. “With delicate metallic beadwork, structured double wool, and luxurious oversized knitwear, we are keeping our focus on finding new ways to be sustainable and thoughtful on the process and local sourcing.”
Avantgarde clothing brand IA London, which is showing at Paris Showroom NO SEASON this season, seeks to provide a sense of timelessness, authenticity and quality in the age of fast consumerism, with the longevity of the garments is achieved by focusing on their quality. The brand works with carefully-selected British digital textile printing specialists to ensure that the deep vibrant colours of the prints will last, enhanced through the uncompromising quality of fabrics and careful quality control. All the unprinted fabrics and lining used in the collection were supplied by the English Cloth, a Yorkshire-based manufacturer and exporter the finest British suiting cloth. In addition to the finest quality of the garments, manufacturing in the UK also means a faster orders turnaround time, allows on-demand customisation that leads to genuinely unique designs. All garments were carefully tailored in the UK, with a particular attention to finishes and details.
Womenswear brand Anciela, showing at Schröroom, utilises an array of circular processes, recycled fibre jacquards and deadstock textiles. Small-scale production is also based in London to ensure ethical pay and conditions, delivering beautifully hand-crafted designs that are friendly to the planet.
The founders of womenswear brand Être Cécile, Yasmin Sewell and Kyle Robinson, said: “For us, sustainability means producing clothes using ethically sourced materials that you can continue wearing for years to come: future-friendly wardrobe classics. We stand firmly against fast fashion and instead adopt a slower, more mindful approach with a focus on quality. Everything we create will eventually return to the earth, so we are committed to using natural, plant-based textiles where possible.”
Contemporary womenswear designer Eudon Choi’s new collection uses organic cotton, ethically sourced cashmere, eco-friendly viscose, recycled synthetic fibres and surplus fabrics. The brand, showing this season at Paper Mache Tiger, has outlined its latest sustainability engagements here.
Atlas Accessories, showing virtually at AQ Market, uses unique materials such as plant fibre and recycled precious metals are all ethically and sustainably sourced but it is the brand’s unique tribal leathers that showcase its sustainability. Historically proven sustainable resources designed by nature to be durable, helping to reduce disposability. Find out more about why Atlas chose its leathers here and details on every material here.
Footwear and jewellery designer Freya Rose, which is showing at Premiere Classe, is dedicated to ensuring all her beautiful ‘wearable works of art’ are made ethically. Every piece of precious Mother of Pearl that is used within designs is ethically sourced in Indonesia where its intricate heels and jewellery is made by the brand’s skilled team of artisan jewellers, with whom the team has now worked with for over a decade. Ethical trade and fair pay are core values Freya Rose has championed since the beginning of her designing career – her dissertation on their fair treatment of indigenous people, received a first-class honours degree from London’s University of the Arts. She continues to show her loyalty to the fair treatment if indigenous talent through her initiative supporting women in Bali and preserving the unique, traditional craftsmanship used to create her designs.
Métier by Tomfoolery’s focus is to be a slow jewellery brand; evident in its design concept which promotes multi-use, reducing the need for multiple unnecessary purchases and encourages customers to personalise and self-style their jewellery. The latest collections, which can be seen at Premiere Classe called First Love and Tesserae, feature White Mother of Pearl and Abalone. The brand decided to use this material as it is often seen as the underdog but should be celebrated for its individuality and should not go to waste. It is in abundance compared to pearls and even when cultivated, the process is still natural.
The founder and designer of glasses chain label Orris, Tara Shen, said: “Sustainability is at the core of Orris London”, which is exhibiting at Premiere Classe this season. “Designed in our London studio, each chain link is individually laser cut, shaped and hand-polished, with pieces taking up to seven days to finish. Long-lasting design and ‘buy better, buy less’ are mantras we live and work by, which is why we have made each glasses chain to last long. They can be wiped cleaned with a soft cloth for enduring lustre. We’re also mindful of Zero Waste Production, making efforts to reduce waste at every stage of the design and making process, simultaneously supporting artisanship.”
Out of Sync, which is showing virtually at AQ Market, is focused on local manufacturing, rescued and sustainable fabrics and versatile design. The team said: “Our first collection was created using rescued fabric which had been diverted from landfill and given a new life. This limits wastage starting with what’s already been produced as well as providing limited edition pieces to help slow fashion down. Our second collection ‘Interrupted’ expanded our use of sustainable fabric. Much of the collection was crafted using biodegradable materials such as Tencel and Bamboo Silk.” Pieces are also made to last, while small remnants left from the collection are upcycled into scrunchies or donated to art schools to limit wastage.
Perle De Lune Jewellery is conceived for women treasuring the quality of craftsmanship and noble material for their skin, choosing intimate pieces which they will keep wearing for a long time. The latest collection, which can be seen at Premiere Classe, includes 100% recycled and fairtrade gold, ethically sourced gemstones from RJC members.
St Piece London, also showing at Premiere Classe, said it has always produced locally in England and only works with responsible printers and manufacturers for its fabrics. “We are also looking for sustainable packaging materials to reduce plastic usage, said the team.
Jewellery brand Jianhui London, which is showing at AQ Market virtually this season, offers handmade pieces that have always emphasised sustainability. It is embedded in the collection, from the China-born designer’s first necklace made from broken vintage pieces that he had picked up at Portobello Market, through to his latest Aqua Collection made from recycled plastic bottles and newspapers. His eco-friendly designs are now loved by style icons like Iris Apfel, celebrities like Lily Tomlin and sold in prestigious institutions such as MoMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
April Crichton and Orély Forestier met at Sonia Rykiel’s and founded LA FETICHE in 2017. LA FETICHE, which can be seen at SHOWROOM THOMAS DUFOUR this seasn, celebrates traditional French and Scottish know-how in collaboration with local artisans. Everyday clothes, joyful and irreverent, colourful and graphic, sentimental, to cherish forever.
UKFT and the Department for International Trade are delighted to support the creative group of UK brands at events, showrooms and catwalk shows in and around Paris Fashion Week, as well as those showing virtually this season.
- Find UK brands in and around Paris Fashion Week
- Why is Paris Fashion Week so important for UK brands?
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