Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Green Show: Answering the Global Call for Sustainable Fashion at New York Fashion Week

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Photo courtesy of Alyssa Lester

Sustainable fashion is a designation used to describe clothing and apparel that are produced in a manner that minimizes environmental impact. This pledge to eco-conscious style incorporates sustainable fabrics, like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and hemp. Ethical manufacturing practices are also integrated into these eco-friendly oaths, with fair labor conditions and safe working environments being equally as important.

Advocates of this eco-conscious shift in fashion are fully aware of the potentially duplicitous nature of global fashion but are openly promoting a superior solution. The sins of the fashion industry can be atoned for by following a more holistic approach to recycling and repurposing.

The Textile and Fashion industry has been identified as the second-largest contributor to global water pollution, following Agriculture. To bring it into focus, manufacturing just one cotton t-shirt takes 700 gallons of water (about 2,650 liters). 

Equally, unsustainable are synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, which are synthesized from petroleum. These popular, mass-produced materials may exist in landfills and streams for centuries before breaking down naturally. 

For the high environmental costs and inorganic durability of most modern fabrics, less than 1% of textiles are recycled into new clothing. Sustainable fashion is the key to the industry policing its own environmental impact and reversing the damage over time. By adopting a culture of sustainable clothing, fashion enthusiasts can conserve water, reduce pollution, and support ethical manufacturing.

Sustainability In Action

The Green Show has internalized this honorable pursuit, catapulting sustainable fashion into the global consciousness by way of a small town called New York City, at the new BondSt Hudson Yards which recently opened to the public. September 9th marked Green Show’s global introduction on one of the largest platforms on Earth – New York Fashion Week.

La Faye & Powell curated the event series and brought eco-conscious fashions out of the shadows and into the zeitgeist. Dur Doux’s 2024 Spring/Summer Collection was an uncompromising artistic vision that highlighted the intersection between the past, present and future. 

The brand’s “Sous Marine” Collection used repurposed materials to create an underwater paradise, with flowing kaftans and ruffled bandeaus that brought ocean waves and aquatic life to the luxurious shores of the BondSt Hudson Yards. Floor-length dresses with coral-inspired patterns gave no signs of a past life but pointed directly to the future.

The use of eco-friendly Italian knits, recycled materials, and OEKO-TEX certified fabrics ensured that sustainability remained at the forefront of the festivities. With runway looks styled by the inimitable Christine Manthey, arresting footwear by Tejahn Burnett, and Sophie Blake’s singular jewelry pieces, saving the planet never looked so good.

Recruiting New Solutions

Beyond the runway, The Green Show hosted a panel discussion, moderated by Roman Bolli of South Pole. The diverse panel of sustainability experts included:

·      Erin Dana Lichy, TV personality and interior designer

·      Morgan Kelly, Executive Director of GLAM4GOOD

·      Selena Hill, award-winning journalist and editor for Black Enterprise 

·      Khary Simon, VP Creative Director at Hearst

All panelists focused on strategies for driving sustainability through practices like eco-friendly manufacturing, ethical sourcing, and circular fashion initiatives. Sustainable lifestyle changes, ethical production practices, corporate solutions, and the role of fashion in mitigating climate change were all topics on the docket.

Eco-Friendly All Day and Night

The day’s events leveled out into a swanky after-party with sushi by BondSt and cocktails by Smoke Lab Vodka, Xplorer Spirits, and Tanduay Rum. ELEMED™ promoted wellness and eco-conscious living during the event with its eleBoost™ Vitamin B12 shots. The gift bags followed the eco-friendly theme by including GOODAL Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum, Physicians Formula, Garnier Micellar Water, and various fragrances from Banana Republic.

“Fashion touches every aspect of our lives. The Green Show exemplifies the power of the fashion industry to influence business and lifestyle choices, including the power to choose electrified transportation over fossil fuels. Fuel cell-electric cars, trucks and buses, powered by hydrogen, are a social win as they produce only water at the tailpipe, with a virtually seamless fit to the supply chain; what is more sustainable than that?! The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership and its title sponsors, Iwatani Corporation, Air Liquide, Hyundai and Anglo American say, “Brava!” to La Faye & Powell for an amazing display of talent and spreading the word!” affirms David Park, Industry Affairs Director, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership.

A Green Future

Sustainable fashion is a developing movement charged with reducing the fashion industry’s ecological footprint. It integrates eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing practices to champion environmental and social responsibility. 

Events like The Green Show showcase the potential for fashion to drive positive global change, accentuating the significance of sustainable choices in both the industry and daily life. With global events planned in Dubai, Paris, London, and Milan, The Green Show aspires to inspire. For more information about The Green Show and its vision for a sustainable fashion future, please visit their website at www.thegreenshowatfashionweek.com.

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