The need for sustainability in the fashion industry increases with each year. With the fashion industry contributing a great deal to the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, many fashion brands are looking for ways to be more sustainable.
Apart from fashion brands, other aspects of the fashion industry have to be sustainable, like fashion shows. Fashion shows play a huge role in the industry and are a very important aspect of fashion. So, why not make them sustainable as well?
The Negative Impact of Fashion Shows
By nature, fashion weeks are unsustainable. For every Fashion Week or Fashion Month, large numbers of people from all over the world arrive in planes and cars leaving behind a significant carbon footprint.
The setup and props created for these events are discarded afterwards, not useful for any other thing and the invitations and show notes are thrown away, landing up in landfills. Adding to this, the amount of electricity and water used by guests is exorbitant.
According to a report by Zero to Market, around 241,000 tons of CO2 is emitted during the four weeks of the international shows. New York Fashion Week alone accounts for 37 per cent of that.
All of these point to the fact that fashion shows play a huge role in releasing extra carbon into the atmosphere. This, therefore, means that fashion shows, though unlikely to become completely sustainable in the near future, need to look for ways to be more sustainable.
How Can Fashion Shows be More Sustainable?
For starters, fashion show organisers need to look at the type of companies they partner with when planning a fashion week.
“First of all, it starts with the event itself,” Evelyn Mora, Founder of Helsinki Fashion Week said. “When you start producing a fashion show or week you need to make sure that the production partners are the right kind of companies. It would have been easy for us to partner with big businesses, but they’re inherently not sustainable.”
Apart from looking at the companies to partner with, it is also important to ensure that the designers that will show their collections meet certain sustainable standards. Copenhagen Fashion Week, for one, will launch its Sustainability Requirements in 2023 that will govern the types of brands that will show at the event. Mora also did something similar.
Other ways to ensure sustainability include hiring local models, finding ways to reduce reuse, recycle, or upcycle props used at shows, reduce the use of plastic water bottles, sending out online invites and so on.
Eco-Friendly Fashion Shows
In the midst of this, some fashion weeks run sustainable shows. Some of them include;
1. Helsinki Fashion Week.
The first recognised sustainable fashion week, Helsinki fashion week finds ways to be sustainable in their practices and place the spotlight on sustainable designers globally.
The organisers of the fashion show use an eco-friendly venue and have found ways to save 19 per cent of water. They also use only waste food to be more vegan and sustainable.
2. Neonyt Fashion Show.
Neonyt is a global hub for fashion, sustainability, and innovation. It consists of an Ethical Fashion Show as well as FashionSustain and #FashionTech conferences.
With these, they address the challenges we face today by collecting thoughts from participants and taking action to present viable solutions.
3. Eco Fashion Week Australia.
Eco Fashion Week Australia is a collaboration between designer, artists, businesses, and communities that works towards raising awareness for environmentally conscious fashion in Australia.
At the fashion week, sustainable clothing, informative discussions, exhibitions, and hands-on workshops are provided to teach its audience about sustainability.
4. Nakshi Fashion Week.
Nakshi Fashion Week not only promotes sustainability, but it also brings the craft of traditional, hand-woven fabric under the spotlight. The fashion week empowers handloom weavers and artisans and gives them a global platform to showcase their work.
The fashion week also raises funds for charities working towards the welfare of weavers and cancer research.
5. Undress Runways
Undress Runways generates awareness over the fact that customers are leaning more towards brands that have sustainable and ethical practices.
The runway show celebrates the work of ethical designers that use their clothing to show that sustainability is fashionable. The show showcases casual wear, evening wear, swimwear and lingerie collections, all ethically produced using organic textiles, natural dyes, zero-waste techniques, recycled and upcycled materials, and more.