At Milan Fashion Week, designers continued to push the sustainability conversation forward.
Singaporean designer Lisa Von Tang, who showed in Milan over the weekend, worked new sustainability practices into every piece of the collection of her eponymous label. Deadstock fabric, which otherwise would have gone to landfills, was upcycled from Italian textile mills to make the dresses and gowns. Natural materials like silk and hemp were also factored in, with no chemical treatment. Von Tang even ensured that all of her suppliers and partners for this collection held green certifications like the Global Organic Textile Standard, Global Recycle Standard and the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production program.
Similar themes and ideas played out at other shows.
The Italian brand Themoiré debuted a collection called Together by Themoiré/Chapter 02, with all pieces made out of 100% of raffia, a palm leaf sustainably sourced from Madagascar. The brand also worked with local artisans to weave the fibers and create the collection and plans to give back a portion of sales to an orphanage in Madagascar.
“We involved the Oxchuc community in Chiapas to create a collection of limited-edition pieces,” said Francesca Monaco, co-founder of Themoiré. “The proceeds from the sales were reinvested, cooperating with the Cantaro Azul association, to bring drinking water to seven rural schools. Chapter 02 of this project sees the community of Antananarivo as the protagonist. The red earth of Madagascar and its great biodiversity won us over for their rare beauty, but we could not remain indifferent to the conditions of extreme poverty of the population.”
Sustainability was also celebrated at Ermengildo Zegna. The brand was awarded the Biodiversity Conservation Award at the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s annual Sustainable Fashion Awards, held in Milan on Sunday. Ermengildo Zegna and the Zegna family were honored for Oasi Zegna, a 100-square-kilometer conservation territory in northern Italy that has been maintained for over a century. The Zegna family has planted more than 500,000 trees in the area, reforesting the land and turning it into a free natural park.
Italy is an important place for the fashion industry’s sustainable efforts. The country holds important centers of design, material sourcing, manufacturing and showcase events like Milan Fashion Week that all play a role in increasing fashion’s sustainable practices.
The focus on sustainability as an investment in fashion’s future was also explored during the week. Womenswear brand Plan C showed a short film directed by Paolo Zerbini at its collection that underscored this idea.
“I wanted our video to [open] the viewer’s patience of letting it become true, just like a dream,” Zerbini said. “But dreams are only real if we wake up to them.”