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High fashion brands remix their logos for sustainable collections

As consumers demand increased transparency from the fashion industry, high fashion brands are reimagining their iconic logos for sustainable collections. But are these logos simply pretty tokens designed to mask shady practices?

Logomania isn’t dead, despite what fashion editorials and blogs want you to think.

With the emergence of every new season comes claims that apparel printed with name brands are ‘out’, only to be later refuted by handfuls of new collections containing t-shirts, shoes, and even trousers covered in them.

Hypebeast culture has long been synonymous with purchasing long-reigning, high-end brands known for delivering quality products, but consumer expectation for these companies to adhere to sustainable practices has grown significantly in the last decade.

Many brands have committed to creating capsule collections, entire lines, or limited-edition products made out of ethically sourced materials. Along with these lines come spin-offs of traditional logos, which will at a glance indicate that a product is part of the brand’s eco-friendly line.

Basically, owning products that are both luxurious and sustainable is kind of a flex for the next generation. Let’s look at three brands that are doing this – and investigate whether their logos are nothing but pretty tokens that facilitate greenwashing.

Prada first launched its Re-Nylon collection in 2019.  It contained just five items – mainly accessories like bags and belts – but all were made from recycled nylon textiles.

Along with the launch came a logo design that is reminiscent of Prada’s typical triangular emblem, only this time, it mimics the universal symbol for recycling.

This year, Prada partnered with sportswear giant Adidas to release a far more extensive collection made from those same recycled nylon fibres. The line comprised of ready-to-wear items like jackets, trousers, and Prada’s recognisable leather backpacks.

Still, Good On You gives Prada an overall sustainability rating of 2 out of 5 – not good enough – for not minimising textile waste, not eliminating hazardous chemicals, and not reducing its water use in its standard collections.

Its labour practices show little evidence of diversity and inclusion and its animal safety rating sits at ‘poor,’ using angora, exotic animal skin, leather, wool, down, and exotic animal hair.

Moncler is another brand that launched a sustainable collection in 2021. Named ‘Born To Protect,’ it takes a similar angle to Prada by incorporating arrows into its traditional winged mountain logo.

All products under this collection do not use fur and instead use recycled nylon and polyester, organic cotton. Products in the ‘Born To Protect’ collection span the range of menswear, womenswear, and kids wear.

Still, the vast majority of Moncler’s products don’t factor in negative environmental or social consequences. Its supply chain sparely meets certified labour standards, and presents no evidence that workers are paid the living wage.

On top of this, Moncler may have set ambitious, science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions generated from its operations and supply chain but there’s no evidence the brand is on track to meet them.

It gets the same rating from Good On You as Prada, a low 2 out of 5 – again, ‘not good enough.’

Are you noticing a logo trend? Either these brands are hiring the same graphic designers or they’re too lazy to think of any other symbol for sustainability than the recycling arrow.

In 2021, Louis Vuitton created an upcycled version of the late Virgil Abloh’s trainer design, made entirely from materials sourced from old pairs. The collection was designed as part of LV’s mission to make their products last longer as fashion consciousness increases.

But Louis Vuitton is well-known for its use of exotic animal furs, skins, down, and leather – a practice that draws regular negative attention to the brand. Its reports surrounding protection for suppliers and workers in the supply chain also reveal inadequate policies and safeguards.

Clearly, Good on You is not shy about dishing out ‘not good enough’ ratings to the world’s most renowned brands, and Louis Vuitton also scores at this level – a sorry 2 out of 5.

All in all, it’s hard not to see these capsule collections or limited releases as anything other than a greenwashing marketing ploy put forward to make brands look better to those unwilling to dig deeper.

Though efforts to create products that are better for the planet – and the potential eco-awareness it generates amongst its consumers – are worthy of some merit, they cannot act as a band-aid for other shortcomings in areas such as social responsibility and worker protection.

 

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