Comfortable jogging pants or hopefully glittering dresses? In the Mode In the past few months, a lot has been about what and how we will dress in the future. The question of what this clothing is made of and where it is produced by whom and under what conditions has moved somewhat into the background.
Soon, however, numerous fashion designers spoke up and showed their understanding. Far too much has been produced in the past, so the tenor. That has to be less – and the quality better. It makes no sense that swimsuits are sold in January and winter coats in July and that in the end everything ends up on sale far too early, said Dries van Noten in an open letter that many of his colleagues have so far signed.
The Fashion Weeks for spring / summer 2021 are perhaps the most sustainable so far. Not only because fewer shows took place and significantly less was traveled for them (the Zero to Market project has calculated that traveling from New York to London to Milan to Paris causes 241,000 tons of CO2 just through shopping for the fashion trade). But also because sustainability became a priority for many designers and brands.
Sustainability for spring / summer 2021: the trends and topics
At Balmain, all jeans in the spring / summer 2021 collection are sustainable, more details are not yet known. Not at Balenciaga. Here Demna Gvasalia shot a pretty cool music video for the Spring / Summer 2021 collection. Even cooler: 93.5 percent of the materials in this collection are certified sustainable or have been recycled; 100 percent of the dyeing processes are based on plants. The designer also thought about what Martin Margiela once said about “the traces of time” on clothing. In other words, clothes that are given a lot of time and not worn seven times, according to the average, are disposed of again. Some parts in the new collection are through Upcycling such garments were created.
Recycling und Upcycling
Video: tough trend: hip jeans trends in autumn 2020 (ProSieben)
Martin Margiela himself was already working with second-hand clothes in the 1990s and created new pieces from them. None of these were expensive vintage fiddles with precious fabrics, but simple second-hand fashion or theatrical costumes. “There are too many clothes in the world,” said John Galliano, now the creative director of, 30 years later Margiela House, after the presentation of the Haute Couture Spring / Summer 2020 in January, with which he introduced the “Recicla” concept. Since then he has been working with second-hand items that his team finds everywhere, deconstructing them, reworking them and putting them back together so that they become part of Margiela’s wardrobe. In the video for the spring / summer 2021 collection, which is well worth seeing, you can follow the process and learn that all items of clothing are meticulously tested for chemicals in advance.
Instead of a completely new collection, Francesco Risso reassembled his favorite archive items for Marni and then painted them brightly. 25 coats were created from jackets and coats from old collections.
Climate friendliness and transparency
Before Stella McCartney presented her collection for spring / summer 2021, she first published the Eco-Impact Report for 2018/19 to show their ecological footprint. Among other things, it says that the brand emitted 27,210 tons of carbon and the cost of the damage to nature in 2019 was the equivalent of around 8.21 million euros (10,000 euros less than in 2018). 65 percent of the collection for spring / summer 2021 is made from sustainable materials.
During the lockdown, Stella McCartney not only worked on the collection, but also on a manifesto from A to Z with 26 values in 26 letters that were staged by artists. A is for accountable. C is for conscious. P is for progress. T is for timeless. V is for vegan – to name just a few examples.
Chanel has his Mission 1.5° already published in March, a strategy that is in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Before the show at the beginning of October, the fashion house also issued so-called sustainability bonds worth 600 million euros on the Luxembourg stock exchange in order to finance further climate-friendly measures. While this is currently not uncommon for many companies, financial experts confirm to the online magazine Business of Fashion, that the bonds at Chanel be very strict. For example, if the goal of using only renewable energy in five years’ time is not achieved, payments will be due.
Alongside Marine Serre, Gabriela Hearst is still one of the designers who started working with up and recycled materials in her collections from an early age. So also for spring / summer 2021. She offset the emissions of her first fashion show in Paris with donations to the Peruvian charity Madre de Dios, which protects the rainforest in the Amazon region and thus its biodiversity and the inhabitants, for whom jobs are created. Gabriela Hearst is a pioneer in combining fashion authentically with sustainable efforts. Time to follow her and the other brands as one.