The British Fashion Awards had ethical fashion on the agenda like never before – read the Eco-Age account of how, who and what made the sustainable grade this year.
The British Fashion Awards took place at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday night, and from the outfits to the award winners, sustainability was high on the agenda. Here are some of the highlights:
Sinéad Burke in Mother of Pearl
Educator, writer and advocate Sinéad Burke, winner of the Leaders Award at this year’s Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, in September was there as part of the BFC New Wave – one hundred young creatives who are shaping the next era of the fashion industry. Sinead wore a custom, sustainable dress by Mother of Pearl made of organic cotton from Egypt and wool from Uruguay.
Read Mother of Pearl designer Amy Powney’s Life As I Know it here.
Gucci wins Brand of the Year and Business Leader awards
Gucci was a big winner of the night, receiving the Brand of the Year and Business Leader awards, with Alessandro Michele and Marco Bizzarri touching on responsibility, sustainability, industry change and the importance of relationships in their acceptance speeches. It was great to see the strong relationships between the CEO Marco Bizzarri and Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of Gucci, and the CEO of Kering, Francois Henri Pinault, which are evidently instrumental to the success of the transformational sustainability strategy at Gucci, and essential for effective engagement with sustainability. This provides a compelling example to the industry of the importance of a top down approach to sustainability, and of company-wide collaboration to bring this vision to life.
Vivienne Westwood awarded Swarovski Award for Positive Change
Vivienne Westwood was presented with the Swarovski Award for Positive Change – her acceptance speech touched on economics, Brexit and rainforest destruction, with a promise of a plan to save the world from “climate change and financial crash”.
Parley for the Oceans
Another winner of the night was Parley for the Oceans, which was awarded for its work and collaborations with designers to innovate the reuse of plastics into products, while also highlighting the devastating effects of plastic on the oceans.
Meanwhile, Phoebe English, a designer mentored by Eco-Age as part of our work with the British Fashion Trust, was nominated for British Emerging Talent Menswear. From the low impact materials used to create her clothing, to exploring and developing more sustainable packaging solutions (alongside the normal pressures of running a brand), and building strong relationships with manufacturers to deal with the prevalent issue of textile waste, Phoebe is a brilliant example of the next generation of designers pushing for a more sustainable industry. Last month, Phoebe gave evidence at the Environmental Audit Committee hearing at the V&A Museum alongside Livia Firth, offering insights into the challenges faced by small designers to combat social and environmental issues in the fashion industry.