Maria Cornejo's latest sustainable designs.

ZERO TO WASTE: The culmination of Maria Cornejo’s brand ambassadorship for this year’s New York Première Vision textile show will soon be sold at Barneys New York.

With a steady eye on sustainable textiles and local manufacturing, the designer has created a five-piece collection under her Zero Maria Cornejo label. Her efforts are meant to further push better practices in the industry forward. The New York designer took her ambassadorship experience so seriously that “responsibly made garments” were featured in the Zero + Maria Cornejo runway show last month, in order to try to keep the focus on sustainability efforts and textiles.

Starting Oct. 15, Barneys shoppers will find the collection on the fourth floor of the New York flagship not far from Dries Van Noten, Proenza Schouler and other designer collections. By joining forces with Barneys, the designer aims to link up with consumers in a more meaningful way. The mill behind the textiles was chosen for its commitment to environmental responsibility/traceability in relation to the production process and the development of the textiles.

For the past 17 years, the mill has been operating in line with the bluesign system’s stipulations.The Bluesign system excludes environmentally harmful substances from manufacturing and lays down guidelines and monitors their observance for environmentally friendly and reliable production. The aim is to ensure that the final textile product meets the most stringent consumer standards worldwide.

A spokeswoman for the designer said, “The ability to partner with a major retailer like Barneys allows the responsible design messaging to reach the consumer in a more impactful way. Maria is always pushing responsibly created textiles in her collections and this was a great opportunity to grow in the performance outerwear category.”

If things play out as she hopes, customers, especially luxury ones, will be drawn in first by the design and then secondly will become educated about the garment being locally made with responsibly made materials. “There aren’t a lot of brands pushing sustainability in the luxury market and it’s important to her to push the needle forward on responsible design wherever she can,” the spokeswoman said.

In-store information will inform shoppers about the collection’s Garment Center provenance.

Cornejo will have another public forum to share her commitment to sustainability later this month. She will receive the Sustainability award at the Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars on Oct. 25 at Cipriani Wall Street. She follows in the footsteps of such recipients as H&M North America president Daniel Kulle and Kering’s chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs Marie-Claire Daveu. After picking up her award from “Avengers” actor Mark Ruffalo, Cornejo will no doubt have a few points to make regarding sustainability.

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