Once exclusive to outfits favouring consciousness over chic, “sustainable fashion” has evolved to a tipping point where both can now mutually exist. From its once divisive past and hippy associations, it is now linked to the educated elite and progressive Gen Z-ers. As sharp aesthetically as it is sartorially, “sustainable fashion” is clever, refined and readily available in the collections of many designers. If it wasn’t already mainstream, Emma Watson solidified it when she declared “now is the time for thoughtful fashion,” on her guest-edited issue of Vogue Australia in March. And while Watson is one in a long line of eco-fashion pioneers championing the benefits of conscious fashion, her cover and the key message of sustainability woven inside it, is one hitting something of a zeitgeist.
The same month Watson became Vogue’s cover girl, San Francisco became the largest US city to ban the sale of fur apparel and accessories, joining West Hollywood and Berkeley in the same state as well as Sao Paulo, Brazil, Norway, Switzerland and Germany. For fashion, this comes in the wake of a domino effect of fur bans across several major luxury houses in the last 12 months including Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace. Though the current fashion focus is on fur, it offers a springboard to a larger conversation across the industry, as PJ Smith of the Humane Society United States explains: “Fur creates a platform for companies to build on. We worked with Inditex/Zara starting with fur [banning] policies, then angora and they just keep adding to them.”
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