The big international fashion weeks in Paris, London and New York, have a history of supporting sustainability as part of their programs. Whether it’s through showcasing eco designers on the runway, or hosting a raft of activities around fashion week itself, international catwalks are fast embracing eco chic.
Following suit, a whole range of new eco fashion events are popping up around the world, including in some unexpected places. Outside of the usual eco fashion events, here are some emerging events that are set to keep the trend alive.
Someone once described this event as Berlin Fashion Week’s “green cousin.” It bills itself as an unconventional showroom, with a refreshingly new approach. Designed to be a showcase of green design, the exhibition itself takes place in luxurious hotels or lofts, which means the designers can get creative with the space, showing their pieces in cupboards, drawers, beds and tables. In short, it facilitates a luxury experience, turning the visitor into a fashion explorer. With strict eligibility criteria, brands must prove that they are at least 60 percent sustainable to participate.
2. Russian Eco Fashion Week
Russia hasn’t traditionally been considered an eco fashion hub, but they are bursting onto the green scene, having held their very first eco fashion week in Moscow in 2012. The week itself had elements of a trade fair and offered sewing classes, plaiting and beading classes, along with the more traditional green fashion shows. The week springboards from a series of successful green fashion weekends launched by Russian environmental movement ECA. It hopes to become a platform for emerging designers from the region like Ekaterina Shchukina and Alina Belousova.
3. Eco Design Fair Shanghai
In and around the Asia Pacific, Shanghai is known as “the new New York” with its growing reputation as a style capital of the world. Interestingly, it also hosts an eco design fair, the next of which is coming up this month. Although it is not strictly limited to fashion, it includes a strong style element, as well as touching on food, energy and eco art. This year’s theme is focused on waste reduction. The event itself started in 2008 and has fast become a premier eco consumer event, attracting crowds of 15,000 or more.
4. Australian Indigenous Fashion Week
One to mark down in the diary for April 2014 is Australia’s inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week. With the primary aim of the week being to provide a platform for promoting authentic Australian indigenous design, it is also committed to enhancing ethical standards within the industry, with a focus on Fair Trade links between indigenous artists and buyers. A number of indigenous designers such as Lucy Simpson of Gaawa Miyay, are already successfully weaving sustainable practice into Indigenous design.