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Chloé is proving that low impact fashion can be chic

Since being named the brand’s creative director last December, Gabriela Hearst has been on a mission to demonstrate how a luxury label can fully embrace eco-friendly practices. At this year’s Paris show, she did just that.

As we know all too well by now, the pressure is on for brands and designers to ditch the linear take-make-waste approach that’s been fashion’s backbone for a century and fix the mess that years of producing trend-driven clothing has made.

Forced into this new era of reckoning by the disruptions of 2020, consumers more conscious than ever before about the industry’s impact on the environment, and the recent IPCC report urging immediate action, fashion has nowhere to hide.

Change – namely a significant shift towards improved sustainable practices and the generation of considerably less waste – is demanding to be welcomed, starting at the very top.

Fortunately for the planet, a number of pioneering luxury labels from Gucci to Stella McCartney have taken this in their stride.

Leading the charge is Gabriela Hearst, Chloé’s newly appointed creative director who, for the last ten months, has been on a mission to demonstrate how a designer brand can be low impact without forfeiting its opulence, of course.

This was presented in full force at Paris Fashion Week, during which Hearst showcased her climate positive SS22 collection, complete with artisan pieces handmade from leftover fabric and coloured with vegetable-based dyes, stylish metal talismans made from deadstock jewellery, as well as upcycled garments using materials from previous lines.

The hope? That putting such creations in the limelight will have a trickle-down effect on fashion’s culture by making eco-friendly clothing aspirational.

Innately low-impact': Chloé brings eco-chic to Paris fashion week | Paris fashion week | The Guardian

‘This season is about how to make items that are produced in larger quantities more eco-conscious,’ Hearst – a self-proclaimed pragmatist determined to keep pushing forward and looking for solutions to the current threat we face to our existence as a species – told Vogue in an interview.

‘58 per cent of our SS22 collection used lower-impact materials – so more recycling and sourcing from farms with a focus on soil health and animal welfare.’

‘Upcycled fabrics from previous seasons have been shredded and macraméd into new garments. I love that we use old to make new.’

Proving that ‘new’ isn’t always better, Hearst deems the path of circularity and timeless design a revolutionary one.

In a luxury world ruled by a constant craving for the new – driven in no small way by social media – she makes a compelling case for doing less and Chloe, as a result, has become a sustainable north star for designer fashion houses.

It’s now up to the rest to follow suit because anyone paying attention to the current crisis would know that the sooner the industry moves to do so, the better.

‘There’s no waste in nature, waste is a design flaw,’ she finishes.

 

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