Not many would disagree with Vogue‘s proclamation that 2017 was “The Year Sustainable Fashion Got Sexy.”
Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery, set a lively, eco friendly call to action that was answered by designers, celebrities, and the fashion industry at large. Over the course of twelve months, a huge shift in both mentality and taste has made itself clearly visible. And in some cases, we mean that quite literally.
Setting the tone early in 2017, the indisputable Coat of the Year was the canary yellow confection that Raf Simons sent down the catwalk for his first-ever Calvin Klein show. Encased in see-through plastic, the fur was faux.
Aside from being awesome, the item threw a one-two punch. While the plastic casing referenced the Millennial tenet of transparency above all else, the underlying layer of fuzz made a strong statement for sustainability.
The theme was reinforced later in 2017 when Gucci announced that they would be going fur-free. Then this March, Versace made a similar announcement, signaling a true sea change. The gorgeous series of faux fur coats Givenchy sent down their latest runway sealed the deal.
Of course, a lot of other labels have been championing sustainable fashion for many years. The two that are probably top-of-mind for most are Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood.
Quietly but stealthily making lots of progress is Tom Ford. The master suit maker earned a 2017 Green Carpet award from Eco-Age, the Livia Firth-led consulting agency which is spearheading the drive for environmental and social reform within the fashion industry.
If Eco-Age sounds familiar, you’ve most likely heard about it thanks to Emma Watson. The environmentally-conscious UN Goodwill Ambassador partnered with the firm when she started her special Instagram account, The Press Tour, dedicated to promoting fashion that has been certified and approved by Eco-Age.
Emma’s not alone in her crusade for a fairer, healthier, and more accountable fashion world. More celebs who’ve lent their names to the cause include Lily Cole, who co-founded the ethical knitwear label The North Circular, and Olivia Wilde, who served as the face of H&M’s Conscious Exclusive 2015 Collection.
Pharrell Williams deserves a notable mention too for his collaborations with Bionic Yarn and G-Star RAW. His sought-after blue jeans line was made of recycled plastic bottles sourced from the world’s oceans.
Will.i.am is also a huge proponent of green fashion. He’s been involved in multiple projects which turn waste into high quality clothing, and even teamed up with Coca-Cola for his most ambitious venture, Ekocycle.
On the red carpet, celebs make an ecological difference in many different ways. Anne Hathaway is known for picking out vintage ensembles rather than custom ordering brand new dresses that will only be worn once. Natalie Portman, on the other hand, is a fan of vegan shoes custom made by Dior.
2017 was a great year for eco fashion. Let’s hope to only see more progress as the tide continues to turn. Happy Earth Day, 2018! — jas