These 3 Designers Stood Out as Sustainability Pioneers at London Fashion Week

Do you follow Andrea Cheong on Instagram or TikTok? If you don't, you should! She has become the trusted and approachable authority in an arena that many find daunting to step into: sustainable fashion. Breaking it down into bite-size pieces of information one can easily digest and use for more sensible shopping tactics in the future, Andrea's Mindful Monday Method is an absolute must-view if you want to be a more conscious consumer of fashion. With her wealth of knowledge and very good taste, it's no wonder we had to knock on her virtual door. Join Andrea each Friday on Who What Wear UK's TikTok channel (@whowhatwear.uk), where she'll be dissecting the latest trends and shopping phenomena. Last week, she showed you a more sustainable denim edit. This week, she brings you her standout moments from London Fashion Week.

We’ve come a long way since the term “eco-conscious” inspired visions of sackcloths fabricated with detritus in shades of greige and beige. This London Fashion Week continues to inspire hope, and I’d count it as a win for sustainable-fashion champions. Notably, we see a departure from the dependence on mainstream textiles where designers opted for fabrics with a more positive environmental impact. In particular, three collections really stood out: Vivienne Westwood, Richard Malone and Marques’Almeida. These distinctly different examples show how varied, imaginative and aesthetically diverse conscious fashion can really be.

1. VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

best sustainable London Fashion Week brands autumn 2022: Vivienne Westwood

Photo:

Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood

Leading the way, the queen of corsetry. Let’s begin with an impressive statistic: Vivienne Westwood estimates that 95% of the A/W 22 collection that will actually be produced for sale will be environmentally friendly with a particular focus on regenerative agriculture. Yes, that oxblood skeleton stripe suit really is made of non-mulesed wool. And the gabardine trench coats with those impressive shoulders are 60% recycled cotton and entirely natural fibre.

best sustainable London Fashion Week brands autumn 2022: Vivienne Westwood

Photo:

Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood

The focus for Westwood was to use lesser-impact alternatives, particularly for its best sellers. For example, switching to FSC viscose for lining. This accreditation refers to viscose that is sourced from renewable forests, whereas normal viscose is typically linked to deforestation and loss of habitat for animals. 

Shop the current Vivienne Westwood collection:

Made from locally sourced leather, this bag is part of Westwood's Made in Kenya initiative, which helps to support thousands of people from marginalised communities.

This cropped knit is a linen-and-cotton blend.

2. RICHARD MALONE

best sustainable London Fashion Week brands autumn 2022: Richard Malone

Photo:

Courtesy of Richard Malone

This collection is described as elevating the ordinary with a touch of “17th-century court frivolity.” Just take a glance at the opulent citrine tones and creamy pastels, with lots of draping and lashings of ruffles. But it goes further than that: Richard Malone opted for recycled and deadstock fabrics to create this incredibly wearable Age of Enlightenment fantasy.

best sustainable London Fashion Week brands autumn 2022: Vivienne Westwood

Photo:

Courtesy of Richard Malone

True to the brand’s ethos, pieces are made in limited quantities if not one-off commissions instead of the wholesale model that even luxury fashion subscribes to. This season, the collection boasts that all of its materials are fabricated locally. This is important for sustainability because supply chains in fashion are often convoluted and murky. You may have heard that transparency is key to a fairer industry, and a part of what this refers to is traceability.

Shop the current Richard Malone collection:

This is 100% merino wool and made in the UK.

The tie-hem makes these trousers versatile.

3. MARQUES'ALMEIDA

best sustainable London Fashion Week brands autumn 2022: Marques'Almeida

Photo:

Courtesy of Marques'Almeida

And then there's Marques'Almeida. The husband-and-wife team returns to the London programme (digitally) after showing in their hometown of Porto last year. A/W 22 is the result of M'AKERS, a research and mentorship initiative. Its contribution to the sustainable fashion conversation is highlighting artisans and preserving craftsmanship.

best sustainable London Fashion Week brands autumn 2022: Marques'Almeida

Photo:

Courtesy of Marques'Almeida

Sculptural pieces in a mishmash of bright hues were created in collaboration with a rug maker, using leftover fabric. “Crazy patchwork,” a technique traditional to the Azores, is imagined as ephemeral tops, dresses and skirts. Not stopping there, the designers used recycled polyester instead of virgin organic cotton, rather than the regular “thirsty crop,” and mulesing-free wool.

Shop the current Marques'Alemida collection:

The ReM'Ade collection features recycled and deadstock fabrics from Marques'Almeida's previous collections.

The matching skirt would look great with a simple T-shirt.

This is made from organic cotton with a ruffled recycled satin hem.

Next up, the independent British brands we love.

Opening Image: Courtesy of Richard Malone

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