LFW’23 Spotlight on Sustainable Fashion Designers
By Jasmine Kaur Oberoi
25 February 2023
London Fashion Week ‘23, the most exciting time for any fashion enthusiast wrapped up in London, and we are bringing you our spotlight of designers, highlighting our favourites who have approached their collections with sustainability in mind.
It’s often questioned ‘how is fashion sustainable if you’re producing/releasing collections every year?’
Designer Patrick McDowell takes to it in all seriousness and has been wary of the environmental impact of his creations. After his last LFW show in 2020 he has been involved in multiple fashion conscious initiatives. In 2020 he presented a digital only fashion show, creating a collection of block chain NFTs, he resorted to this technological advancement with an agenda to reduce fashions global impact by not creating any physical pieces. In 2021, he contributed to the Ellen Macarthur Circular Design for Fashion book, that recognised the harm that fashion industry has caused to the planet and discussed ways of making amends, of which is businesses incorporating circularity in their processes.
Image: wwd.com/ COURTESY PATRICK MCDOWELL
AW23 saw his comeback to the catwalk. His collection featured the most inclusive cast of this year’s LFW, and all the limited edition pieces are either made from ethically produced fabrics or reclaimed materials and look as fabulous as the most detail oriented couture pieces.
Priya Ahluwalia, another advocate of upcycled fashion focused on glamming up her collection this season and took to the show with symphonic dresses, suits and shoes. Everything about the show from the venue, which was a restored concert hall, previously a baroque church to the organic/recycled fabrics spoke of the designer's sustainability goals. To top it all, the designer took ‘transparency to the consumer’ to another level and introduced QR codes on each garment that reveals all the information about it, like where it was made and the inspiration behind it.
Designer Susan Fang, who is known for incorporating innovative methods of sustainable practices at the very foundation of design and production process, outdid herself this time as well during her LFW show. The collection has a remarkably positive vibe and shows off a great fusion of tulle, lace and feathers; Lace of which was woven from off-cuts and the new crystallised fabrics had elements (wool & ribbons) from her previous season’s leftovers. Not only the garments but the complete head to toe look was created keeping in mind the sustainable practices that the designer resorts to;
The accessories on the models, including the beaded bags, were all 3D-printed with the ideology of cutting down on excess produce and only using what is needed to print each piece, while the flip flops worn by the models were made from biodegradable TPU to make sure that they have the least environmental impact by their end of their life.
Transparency is another major aspect when talking about sustainable fashion, be it transparency towards your customers in terms of revealing about sourcing of raw materials, the process of production, supply chain or the price mark ups, and
Helen Kirkum did it just right by elucidating exactly how she creates upcycled trainers.
During fashion week, she exhibited a total of 824 single shoes lined up in four 20 metre long rows which will go into the making of 137 pairs of new patchwork trainers.
We can’t talk about upcycled footwear fashion and not mention Ancuta Sarca, who is known for creating Sneaker heels (Sneels?!). For season AW2023 the designer presented a ready to wear collection and it goes without saying that just like her other work, this collection too has been made keeping planet earth at the highest of priority, repurposing the deadstock by Lee Jeans into Y2k inspired bralettes, form-fitting skirts and detachable sleeves which had a deadstock faux shearling trim
It's pretty clear by now - sustainable fashion; it's not a fad. It’s here to stay, it’s a lifestyle, and this Fashion Week demonstrated exactly how and why London based designers are creatively bringing this change.