On Friday, February 20th, the British Fashion Council kicked off the 6th season of estethica—London Fashion Week's green initiative. Reputed as the world's leading showcase of sustainable designer fashion, estethica has grown from 13 to 37 designers, who adhere to one of three guiding principles: organic, fair trade, or recycled. From design to production onto retail and disposal, estethica aims at promoting sustainable life cycles in high end fashion. Encouragingly, several notable menswear collections were in attendance.
Born in Denmark of a Portuguese father and Danish mother, Naia Rico studied at the London College of Fashion, going on to design for Article 23, which inherited its name from the 23rd article of the Declaration of Human Rights. Inspired by the legendary 19th century figure Sherlock Holmes, Naia combined retro and contemporary styles to create a timeless selection of British poshness and "falsely neglected dandyism." Using organic cotton and natural materials, the collection was produced by a women's co-op in India.
Promoted as the voice for animals in the fashion industry, the impassioned knitwear designer from North Yorkshire, Izzy Lane, runs a Sheep Sanctuary of Shetland and endangered Wesledydale sheep that have been saved from slaughter. Portraying a cosy "1970’s goes to the country" theme, her ethically and sustainably Made-in-Britain collection was woven at an ancient mill in Selkirk, using hundred year old Victorian machinery and, then, hand knit into plush chunky garments.
Prophetik presented its preachy, almost apocalyptic "wearable philosophy" in the Impulsion collection, which represents slow fashion advancing with wisdom and substance. Inspired euro street wear that manifests art, love, poetry, and internal freedom, Prophetik supports numerous children's charities around the world, working also with the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project. "In raising funds to buy land for the elephants," says designer Jeff Garner, "our partners train the elephants to paint on our organic silk fabric, which we turn into dresses to sell for the cause."
Based in Paris and produced by local co-ops in the Amazon, the Veja collection of comfortable shoe wear was inspired by 1970's Brazilian volleyball styles, merging an urban and vintage feel. Utilizing organic cotton canvas and Amazonian rubber soles, Veja rests on three pillars: 1) use of ecological inputs, 2) fair trade cotton and latex, and 3) respect for workers’ dignity.
Since Men's Fashion by Francesco will be contacting these four designers in the next several days, please feel free to present your questions concerning sustainability and menswear below!
For original article, please see Men's Fashion by Francesco