Sustainable clothing is evolving rapidly both for consumers and the industry.
And public awareness of environmental issues is being generated at the highest levels. Former president Bill Clinton, for example, told building, design and environmental professionals at the International Greenbuild conference in Chicago on Wednesday that reducing greenhouse gas emissions represented "a staggering economic opportunity'' including the creation of jobs.
The William J. Clinton Foundation has formed a partnership with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to help cities buy "green" supplies and technology cost-effectively by bundling their orders with Wal-Mart's and purchasing bulk.
In the fashion industry, environmentally conscious players on Monday participated in "Rethinking Fashion," a panel followed by a question-and-answer session. It was the second in a series of discussions about how people view, buy and consume fashion.
"Things should be made to last," said Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashion director at Barneys New York. "I think it's really out of style and very untrendy to have disposable fashion. I don't believe in it. We should buy less and make better product and that is something that we're saying at Barneys."
Gilhart was among the panelists at the Theresa Lang Student Center of Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan. The others were: Scott Hahn, founder of Loomstate; Helen Job, U.S. editor of Worth Global Style Network, and Marci Zaroff, founder and president of Under the Canopy, which manufactures eco-conscious apparel for women, men and children.
Each panelist spoke about their role in the green movement, how they got involved in sustainable fashion, and educating the public about making sound decisions about fashion consumption.
Gilhart, instrumental in the production of Barneys' green Christmas catalogue as well as harnessing talent to create sustainable collections for her store, is involved in more than 50 green-related projects with designers such as Stella McCartney, Phillip Lim and Douglas Little. She said eco-friendly fashion is a movement rather than a trend.
"Clothing doesn't grow in the boutique or the department store,'' said Zaroff, the recipient of the 2007 Socially Responsible Business Award. "There actually is a relationship back to nature and to farmer welfare."He said his mission was "that we would be leaders, and that we would go out there and tell the story and help to educate and help consumers understand the importance of thinking about'' what they are purchasing.
"We have been out there for a while and the standards for organic certification are critically important,'' Zaroff said. "If you are going to enter the market of sustainable fashion, you have to get educated and understand the whole picture because there is a scientific method behind organic agriculture. It's not just a marketing gimmick, there is really a very serious process that goes into it."
He cited crop rotation, building up the soil, farmer welfare, dyeing methods and an inherent code of ethics as factors to be considered when getting into sustainable fashion.
In the question-and-answer segment led by moderator Alice Demirjian, director of Parsons' fashion marketing associate degree program, the panelists spoke about the trials and errors they have experienced while working with natural fibers, and how designers are being supported, educated and transitioned into creating more eco-friendly collections and lines. They also answered questions about the hidden costs of being sustainable (in addition to fabrics), as well as the limitations for designing within a sustainable model, and if it can act as a catalyst to spark innovations.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)