London has always been a hugely influential, trendsetting city, but as LFW got started at the end of last week, it became clear that the bi-annual event now has a more serious remit: to become the most ethical of the four 'fashion capitals'.
The most promising sign that a shift had taken place came as soon as the first fashion shows hit the London runways: on the main catwalk, Noir, the high-end ethical label from Denmark kicked off the season's collections, while Vauxhall Fashion Scout, the area reserved for emerging talent played host to a range by sustainable designer Julia Smith. But the decision to stage these designers' work first was no empty gesture: it has also emerged that Estesthica, the event's ethical initiative, has just been given government backing. Defra has launched a 'Sustainable Clothing Action Plan', a major investment in sustainable fashion with several big high street names on board
Follow the jump to find out what the big chains are doing to help
[Via The Guardian]
The high street chains who've put money behind the plan are:
• Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury all, of which have pledged to enlarge their Fair Trade and organic ranges and promote recycling
• M&S and Tesco are also supporting more ethical manufacture, animal welfare across their cotton supply chain and will be re-stating the message about washing clothes at 30C.
• Tesco is aiming to make its cotton supply chains more transparent to banish the use of cotton from countries known to use child labour. It's also adding carbon labelling of Tesco laundry detergents.
• Nike will apply its 'Considered Design' ethos to all its product ranges.
I went along on the first day of the event to witness this transformation for myself, slightly sceptical as the words 'ethical' and 'fashion' are so often unfairly used together that they've started to lose all meaning. But I was pleasantly surprised by what I found: the Estethica exhibition is prominently placed in the 'tent', and bigger than ever, while the 'sustainable' catwalk shows put on to open the event were truly impressive.