More Than Recycled

The Art of Sustainable Fashion

Fashion is undoubtedly an art form. The creative freedom that fashion gives to all individuals is unmatched, and is the reason why the fashion industry is so broad and predominant. However, one of the greatest potential downfalls of this industry is the effect of fast fashion. Fast fashion is, in short, the term used to describe brands and designers that rapidly push their runway collections into stores to meet current trends. Increasing overall global emissions, brands that are known for fast fashion have collectively increased production which has done much more than just pollution. The leftover material waste from designs is directly discarded which creates a higher demand for these materials in the future. More commonly than not, these fast fashion brands also provide unethical treatment for animals in which they use for skins and furs. Recycled fashion has become highly prominent along many brands, and for the sake of the environment, is the only way we can dig ourselves out of the grave fast fashion has created.

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  • Design by Slava Zaitsev. Zaitsev is a Russian fashion designer, painter, graphic artist, and theatrical costume designer. These sustainable designs were works from Russia Fashion Week 2009.

  • These designs present an abstract contemporary form of sustainable and recycled fashion. These were from a Spring/Summer collection in 2018. This image is released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

  • This unique piece was designed by Viktor & Rolf for their Fall/Winter collection of 2016. This collection was intricately designed with left over materials and recycled objects such as the buttons that are hand sewn onto the trousers of this model. These designs are said to have been influenced by the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Photo courtesy of Peter Stigter.

  • Belgian Sustainable Fashion Week 2018. Design by Benchellal, an Amsterdam-based brand created by Mo Benchellal, is an almost avant-garde take on sustainable fashion. The military-like helmet and jacket combined with the excessive tulle skirt creates a visually striking image. Photo courtesy of Peter Stigter.

  • Image courtesy of Peter Stigter for Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week 2019. Haute Couture by Weiyu Hung, a sustainable Netherlands-based womenswear label.

  • Popular high fashion brands have even stepped up and created sustainable designs for high-status clients such as Model Adut Akech. She attended the Green Carpet Fashion Awards in 2019. This Valentino “eco-couture” gown was created with recycled materials and organic silk. Photo credit Stefania D’Alessandro for Getty Images

    Getty Images

  • English designer Stella Mccartney is known for her vegan brand and use of entirely ethical materials. This is a simpler design from her 2015 Paris Fashion Week show. Photo courtesy of Peter Stigter.

    PETER STIGTER

  • Design by Emma Gage for Marist Silver Needle Runway & Awards Show 2017. Photo Courtesy of Arthur Eisenburg. A demonstration of sustainable garment layering. This includes “everything from long vests and coats to asymmetrical skirt overlays.” Threads Magazine

  • Laura Siegel, an award-winning fashion designer, created this particular earth-tone design with entirely ethical materials. Based in New York and Toronto, her brand is entirely ethically handcrafted that are produced in collaboration with artisans in Asia and Latin America. Fall/Winter 2012 Collection. Photo courtesy of Jason Hargrove.