The final look from the visceral MEM show during Helsinki Fashion Week - July 21, 2018 The final look from the visceral MEM show during Helsinki Fashion Week - July 21, 2018

Two very different labels at Helsinki Fashion Week are both driven by the same core concept of sustainability.

Ominous red face coverings punctuated a dark selection from Finland-based MEM, known for producing its garments entirely from post-consumer waste. As models moved through the repurposed oil silo showspace, this presentation was as thought-provoking as it was heart-pounding.

Shaped by medieval-style tailoring, the fifth collection from the ecofriendly brand was designed as “a plea for the planet to endure,” according to the MEM website. Adding a ray of hope, a romantic gown patterned with bright florals concluded the visceral lineup.

Committed to the type of upcycling and circularity that has guided Helsinki Fashion Week as a whole, designer Paula Malleus made a strong statement for sustainability with this runway display, which on the surface contrasted starkly with the offering from N&S Gaia.

Fresh from the Vogue Talents competition in Mumbai, Sidhartha Sinha sent out an airy line of earthy neutrals and bouncy frills. There were rewarding nuggets for the close observer here, including prints within prints and the label’s signature handweaving techniques.

Like MEM, New Delhi-based N&S Gaia is dedicated to clean fashion, using upcycled mill fabrics to create their floaty, ethereal designs. Bursting with playfulness and personality, these items are lighthearted options to keep in mind for next spring and summer.

Just two out of thirty total sustainable brands showing as part of the five-day Helsinki Fashion Week this July, MEM and N&S Gaia were night and day in comparison to each other. The message from HFW is clear: no matter what your taste in style, there is an eco-friendly option out there for you. — jas