By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
The Big Apple is always at the forefront of new trends, and during this New York Fashion Week sustainability has reached peaks of ethical-aesthetics like no other! The surprise element is that the most mind-boggling fashion creations come not from America, but another continent: Asia.
Chinese firm Sechs Element hosted a showcase of sustainable brands from China, of course, but also from other nations. Based in New York City and Beijing, their mission is to further awareness and education of sustainability in the fashion industry with a focus on China. Taking a leadership role in spreading the message of eco-consciousness, the firm will reprise its debut fashion show in China following NYFW, educating students and fashion industry professionals on sustainability resources and practices.
For New York Fashion Week, Sechs Element provided support to emerging designers who are passionate about instilling change and new ideas into the fashion industry. These brands’ fashion-forward, eco-friendly collections enchanted NYFW’s seasoned audiences with their diverse works and dedication to sustainability. Take a look at some highlights, below.
1. Alice Potts
The English designer Alice Potts focuses on reducing waste textiles, and she does so by interlocking different materials in joyful patchworks. Whether it’s jackets, dresses, trousers or handbags, each of her creations is the outcome of the assemblage of 150-600 slotted squares. Geometric futurism blends with feminine fashion in each of her enchanting garments.
2. Apoorva Gupta
Apoorva Gupta’s work is triply sustainable: it not only uses fabric destined for landfill, but Gupta transforms those textiles into zero waste fashion creations that drape beautifully off the body. As a final eco-friendly touch, many of her garments are reversible, so buying one piece means you can actually transform the double-faced garment into another wardrobe piece. This cutting-edge philosophy is bound to conquer many hearts, followers and imitators.
3. Cen Si
The Finnish Cen Si is an artist who wears many hats – she’s a pianist, composer and couturier who likes to cross-pollinate different artistic mediums. Her music compositions are translated into her fashion designs through technology: namely, print and colour enact an enchanting synaesthetic experience that recounts the story of Cen Si’s childhood in Finland, the key inspiration for her collection this season.
4. Chenhui Zhang
Chinese designer Chenhui Zhang is a poetic storyteller who aims to educate fashionistas by telling them exactly how the garments they’re wearing were designed, produced and sold. She describes her goal as a designer eloquently herself: “In my opinion, the excess waste in the fashion industry is produced through the lack of emotional connection between customers and products. By creating a story that is transparent, storytelling is my way to solve the problem of excess waste.”
5. Peiyang Zou
Zou has embraced the concept of reconstruction, utilising recycled horsehair and cotton gauze for his highly modern designs. Giving new meaning to these overlooked materials truly brings attention to the mass production of fabrics that eventually become discarded. Peiyang Zhou is one to watch, thanks to his elegant collection with a newfangled edge.