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By Chere Di Boscio
Who’s Next Paris is one of the most important events in the European fashion schedule. The bi-annual, four day trade show highlights hundreds of the world’s top fashion brands spread over vast areas, and is the perfect place to spot up-and-coming trends.
Eluxe spent a lot of time wandering through booth after booth, searching for eco-friendly labels with an edge. We were not disappointed. From goat leather bags handcrafted in Morocco to pure silk held together with not stitches, but pins, to silk scarves featuring prints based on biological cells–everything we found below is bound to show up on the backs of fashionistas in Berlin, Paris, New York and London within mere months.
They’re most known for their traditional Berber bags, featuring hand-embroidery done in the ancient artisanal way by by small communities in Morocco. But now, the German label Abury has added Ecuadorian knits and a new range of eco-leather bags to their line.
Made without any metal and tanned and dyed with eco-friendly products, these large goat-leather bags are perfect, practical accessories for both men and women.
The Turkish born, Austrian based designer is calling into question traditional sewing techniques by erasing seams, zips, clasps and buttons in order to create timeless, minimalistic collections for men and women.
A graduate of the University of the Applied Arts, Vienna, Mehmetli won the EVOQUE NextGen Award in 2012, and since then, her work has become even stronger, and even more sustainable: she is currently researching natural dying techniques to make her pure silk range even more eco-friendly.
This Madrid based fashion label uses digital printing to create witty trompe l’oleil designs on pure cotton and cotton jersey.
Chief designer Alicia Monereo insists on only the best premium Italian fabric to act as a backdrop for the digital prints she creates on T shirts and kimono-cut dresses and robes. All garments are made in Spain compliance with the principles of responsible trade made in Spain.
4. Pena Jewels
Using recycled gold to create simple, versatile rings, necklaces and bracelets, this Spanish label says that it didn’t aim to be eco-friendly necessarily, but because it was cheaper to use recycled gold than source ‘new’ metals. In any case, the fact that these delicate pieces are all handcrafted in Spain, packaged in natural muslin and made from recycled materials makes it an Eluxe favourite.
5. Patricia Rox
This Singaporean brand uses only the finest Italian silk and natural dyes to create its intricate scarves and dresses. Creative Director Patricia Haywood says the label mainly takes its inspiration from the natural world–from the patterns found on shells and fossils to prints based on biological cells.
In 2006, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and saw that they didn’t have adequate shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes for a child in need; “One for One” as it were.
TOMS shoes were made from sustainable materials, including sisal, rubber and canvas, and became a huge hit with the eco-fashion crowd. Then in 2011, the One for One model was expanded with TOMS Eyewear, where every purchase of eyewear would give glasses to someone in need.
Fans of the concept but not flat shoes, we were delighted to see the introduction of sisal based wedge heels by the brand at Who’s Next.
Since 2012, this Berlin based designer has been bringing a touch of femininity to the world of ethical fashion via her fine-cut two ply silk blouses, organic cotton dresses and perfectly tailored trousers, all of which are dyed completely naturally. What’s coming up for 2015? Keep your eyes open for small print graphics, laser cuts and origami folds.
Main image: photos: Gilles Perriere
8. Yoshi Kondo
The Japanese designer’s Piano Cardigan is one of the items that really stood out for us. Crafted from purely organic cotton from Japan, Kondo has used a unique knitting method here that gives the sweater an interesting twisted effect. It’s pictured below, paired with his Bee skirt in a cotton-linen blend. Kondo also uses organic canvas as one of his eco-friendly materials, which can also be seen below, paired with a Quilt Cardigan in a Murano print.