The sustainability issue has reached a tipping point. A quick pass through this year’s LVMH Prize showcase is proof of that: Most of the 20 young semifinalists are working with deadstock fabrics and materials that would otherwise be destroyed, or they are generally thinking along more earth-friendly lines. One is even constructing garments out of old airbags.
Stella McCartney is an industry leader on this subject—has been for years. But she’s never foregrounded her initiatives on the runway quite like she did today. To start, there was her rainforest conservation project. The idea is to dedicate a tree to a loved one and, in the process, raise awareness of the at-risk Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia, where many of the 150 million trees cut down each year to make fabric are logged.
Love messages were printed on the catwalk, and they are also visible on Instagram via the hashtag #thereshegrows. It’s McCartney’s answer to the Ice Bucket Challenge, only its beneficiaries are elephants, rhinos, orangutans, and tigers.
According to a press release, the viscose McCartney uses for her collections is harvested from certified sustainably managed forests in Sweden. But that’s just the beginning of her work around the topic this season. She used strips of vintage tees as if they were yarn to knit a multicolor sack dress, and fabric from previous collections to create the quilted details that decorated the yokes or bodices of easy-to-wear frocks.
The show-closing coat pieced together from those past-season materials was a real stunner. Cheeky jewelry, like shoulder-duster earrings made from paperclips and a long necklace embellished with rubber bands, reinforced McCartney’s endeavors around upcycling, as did a monumental woven belt made by the noted textile artist Sheila Hicks.
See the style images below, enjoy!