The dire impact imparted by the wider fashion industry on our environment is an issue we’ve addressed before. And it’s one that the industry itself is starting to come to terms with in a very real way.
In this country, it’s hard to talk about sustainable fashion without mentioning New Zealand brand, Maggie Marilyn. A label creating clothes that adhere to rigorous environmental standards in every part of their production, textile sourcing and packaging processes, Maggie Marilyn has established itself as an early leader in the new age of fashion — its stellar example encouraging mainstream brands and retailers (as well as consumers) to adopt more sustainable practises.
Recently, in a move that proves how the mainstream industry is becoming increasingly aware of its footprint, Net-A-Porter launched a new platform that shines a light on brands for whom sustainability is an inherent, driving force. Aptly named Net Sustain the online retail giant’s new initiative is making it easier than ever for consumers to identify and connect with environmentally-friendly, sustainable brands, and has launched with 26 labels and 500 products, all of which meet one or more of five key sustainability attributes — locally made, grounded in the community, considered materials, considered processes and/or a focus on waste reduction. “Our aim is to give a voice to the brands that are truly making positive changes,” says Net-A-Porter’s Global Buying Director, Elizabeth von der Goltz, “by providing them with a platform to highlight their best practice.”
Celebrating the fact that such a major fashion retailer is putting store by sustainability, a few renowned brands have created exclusive capsule collections for Net Sustain, including Maggie Marilyn, Stella McCartney and Mother of Pearl, who collaborated with BBC Earth.
The Maggie Marilyn capsule showcases the designer’s signature penchant for bright colours, feminine silhouettes and motifs that allow her clothes to walk the fine line between making a statement and being inherently wearable (many pieces manage to be both). The collection is made from materials like biodegradable, eco-friendly rose petal silk, ethically-produced, Bluesign-certified silk and organic and recycled cotton.
It’s a big move for Net-A-Porter, although not an entirely unprecedented one. Really, it’s about time these juggernaut names in fashion recognise the myriad ways their fickle, seasonal agenda works to drive rampant, unchecked consumerism. With labels like Maggie Marilyn advocating a new approach at a brand level and companies like Net-A-Porter setting an example for retailers, hopefully, a path can be paved for others of a similar calibre to do the same.