British designer and sustainable fashion advocate Stella McCartney launched an eco capsule collection during London Fashion Week under the banner of The Green Carpet Challenge (GCC). The initiative was set up by Livia Firth, high-profile eco consultant and wife of British actor Colin Firth, and challenges designers to produce ethically and sustainably.
Where previous GCC fashion projects have culminated in one-off statement pieces, McCartney’s collection is the first time that a designer has produced a capsule range for the GCC. “The event last night was a clear crossroads for global fashion,” said Livia Firth about the launch.
Although the collection was created in accordance with environmental standards and uses only materials that are either recycled or sustainably certified, McCartney’s 13 evening looks do not compromise on design. White dresses featuring long, elegant lines are given a burst of abstracted colour with blocks of strategically placed blues, pinks and reds. Her iterations in lace prove that sustainable materials can be delicate and refined.
The luxury market has traditionally dragged its heels on sustainability, but this launch is part of a growing move for this sector to address ethics in its supply chain. Luxury Italian fashion brand Valentino and British brand Burberry have both signed up to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals roadmap, an initiative established in response to the Greenpeace Detox campaign committing brands to eliminating the discharge of harmful toxins during production by 2020. This year, British designer Vivienne Westwood vowed to shrink her luxury brand in an effort to integrate her environmental beliefs with her business ethics, and reduce her contribution to mass production.
The GCC collection will be available from November 2014 in Stella McCartney stores and on luxury etailer Net-A-Porter.