Luxury fashion designers aren't just talking about making fashion more sustainable. They're doing it.
Slides, $177, by Balenciaga at The Webster South Beach; cotton socks, $120, at Gucci.
Six months ago, 32 fashion companies (including everyone from Chanel and Prada to H&M and Zara) signed a pact to combat greenhouse gasses and emphasize sustainability in the industry. It was the first time that pillars of the luxury fashion market and fast-fashion behemoths so publicly and so seriously acknowledged the threat of the climate crisis—and the role consumerism plays in said crises. But while they talk about making fashion more sustainable—and retrofit decades-old practices for a greener future—a new crop of designers have launched with sustainability built into their DNA.
For Heron Preston’s New York Fashion Week debut, the streetwear designer repurposed bales of clothing resurrected from the garbage. His work with the concept known as “upcycling”—using secondhand clothing as material for new designs—has made sustainable fashion into something no one was sure it could be: a cool commodity. In 2019, he was a Vogue CFDA nominee for Emerging Designer of the Year.
With its crafty and quirky spirit, Rentrayage is a collection made entirely from secondhand and vintage garments. Think midi dresses pieced together from three different printed frocks of various eras; oversize blazers and trenches with darts and seams to give waists a 2019 shape; and army surplus jackets and cargo pants trimmed in broderie anglaise or gilt-threaded ribbon. Some of it is simple, and some of the pieces are really Frankensteined. All of them are insanely chic.
Both designers fly off the racks at The Webster South Beach and Bal Harbour. In the Design District, the Reformation boutique’s mission is simple: “We make killer clothes that don’t kill the environment.” All of the clothing—a favorite of influencers and models—comes from one of three sources: repurposed vintage, recycled deadstock or sustainable materials (like Tencel). Plus, it recently launched RefScale, which informs shoppers of the environmental impact of their purchases by measuring the carbon dioxide, water and waste savings of each garment produced. Measuring your carbon footprint has never been easier.
Dress, $1,595, by Rentrayage and backpack, $645, by Heron Preston, both at The Webster South Beach.