Op-Ed Runway Shows

FutureFashion: Sustainability is Completely Compatible With Luxury

Versace for EarthPledge

Versace for EarthPledge

NEW YORK, Jan 31, 2008 / FW/ — In an unprecedented move by the fashion industry, top designers united to support ‘FutureFashion’ a runway show that presented 30 looks that were created using sustainable materials.

Being hailed as a carbon neutral event, Behnaz Sarapfour, Bottega Veneta, Boudicca, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Derek Lam, Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Doo.Ri, Doro Olowu, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Isabel Toledo, Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Martin Grant, Martin Margiela, Michael Kors, Moschino, Narciso Rodriguez, Ralph Lauren, Rodarte, Rogan, Stella McCartney, Thakoon, Threeasfour, Versace, and Yves Saint Laurent celebrated FutureFashion™ by creating garments that are made with sustainable materials that included sasawashi, piña, bamboo, organic cotton and wool, corn-based fibers, recycled fibers or fabrics and biopolymers.

Versace, one the world’s leading fashion houses created through Versace Atelier (the maison’s division for its most luxurious creations) a ‘sustainable’ eco-friendly gown made of mikado hemp and silk (see photo at left).

One of the six initiatives by EarthPledge, a leading non-profit and innovator of sustainable solutions for business, FutureFashion™ celebrates environmentally conscious fashion by working with the industry to promote renewable, reusable and nonpolluting materials and methods.

Through FutureFashion™, designes are encouraged to investigate and implement techniques that reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing and production and source locally produced sustainable materials.

With FutureFashion™ runway show tonight that featured creations by top designers and luxury houses from both sides of the Atlantic, the message is clear: sustainability is completely compatible with luxury and a contemporary lifestyle.

Leslie Hoffman, Earth Pledge Executive Director commented, “We are thrilled that the design community has embraced the challenge of designing with sustainable materials. This group of talented designers has enormous influence over what we wear and how we express ourselves.”

“Taking this first step in exploring sustainable practices is a breakthrough that underscores Earth Pledge’s mission: to create change from within the industry. Sustainability is not a fad; it is a necessity for a healthy future. The leadership so beautifully expressed by these designers will help farmers, textile manufacturers, other designers and, of course, the customers, also embrace this vision,” Ms. Hoffman added.

For those who missed the show, all 30 creations will be displayed on the store windows of Barneys New York’s flagship at Madison Avenue at 61st Street for three weeks, from February 1st.

“Our Fashion Week windows will showcase a gorgeous cavalcade of sustainable frocks,” Barneys New York Creative Director Simon Doonan exclaimed.

[MARI DAVIS]

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