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11 stand-out sustainability moments you may have missed from AW22

As every new season comes to pass, the need for the fashion industry to address its impact on the environment becomes ever more urgent. That will, of course, require widespread change, although there have been some promising developments on the autumn/winter 2022 catwalks.

This fashion month has seen familiar names such as Gabriela Hearst and Stella McCartney leading the sustainability conversation, alongside younger designers such as Bethany Williams, Ahluwalia and Harris Reed – offering a glimpse of what a more eco-friendly future might look like. At the likes of Balenciaga and Diesel, new innovations signal the growing investment in sustainability across the industry at large.

Below, see 11 sustainability moments you might have missed from the autumn/winter 2022 shows.

Stella McCartney debuts grape leather bags

Stella McCartney is known for her strict no-leather approach, instead using vegan alternatives such as mushroom leather (a bag made from Mylo was introduced for the first time last season). For autumn/winter 2022, it’s the turn of the grape, with the designer creating its new monogrammed bag range using waste from Italian wineries.

Chloé teams up with a community of quilters

Since taking the helm at Chloé, creative director Gabriela Hearst has placed a strong focus on craftsmanship – in response to the “over-industrialised” state of the industry. This season, the French fashion house collaborated with Gee’s Bend Quilters, a small community of Black female quilters in Alabama, on the patchwork pieces in the collection, made using deadstock materials.

Diesel showcases fully-recycled denim

There have been huge strides on making denim more sustainable in recent years, with Diesel among the brands leading the way. This season’s collection featured its first pieces made from fully recycled denim, cotton and elastane and dyed without water – marking a major milestone for the brand.

Balenciaga unveils its first mushroom leather jacket

Demna Gvasalia’s dramatic snow-storm setting for Balenciaga’s autumn/winter 2022 show was initially conceived as a comment on the climate crisis – an issue that the creative director has addressed in previous seasons, too. What you might not have noticed is the leather-look coat, made from a mycelium-based (made from mushroom roots) alternative developed especially for the brand.

Vivienne Westwood launches Reimagining Waste

Vivienne Westwood has long been sounding the alarm on the climate crisis, with her brand’s sustainability-focused values reflecting that. For autumn/winter 2022, Westwood introduced a new Reimagining Waste concept, which sees the designer reusing deadstock materials from previous seasons, with 71 per cent of the collection made from low-impact and cruelty-free materials.

Coach’s trench coats are made from upcycled leather

After making use of archival pieces in recent seasons, Coach’s creative director Stuart Vevers incorporated upcycled leather pieces in his autumn/winter 2022 collection, which were created by taking apart vintage finds.

Ahluwalia holds her debut runway show

Priya Ahluwalia’s first runway show was undoubtedly a major moment for the designer. Featuring her signature upcycled designs, the designer’s packed runway show (which also featured her first full womenswear collection) proved that sustainability really can be good business.

Harris Reed uses leftover upholstery fabric

Harris Reed’s Found collection, created using pre-loved bridal dresses from Oxfam, was always going to be a hard act to follow. Happily, the eco-minded designer chanced upon the Bussandri upholstery empire’s archive of fabrics during a holiday in Italy, allowing him to continue his practice of repurposing pre-existing materials this season.

Bethany Williams shines a spotlight on makers

Sustainability must encompass both people and planet – which is why Bethany Williams decided to turn the focus onto makers for autumn/winter 2022. The vibrant prints featured in the collection told the story of those Williams works with to produce her garments, from the San Patrignano rehabilitation centre in Italy to the Mending For Good initiative.

Marine Serre showcases her brand ethos

In a bid to make sustainable fashion more accessible to a wider audience, Marine Serre decided to hold a two-day exhibition, entitled Hard Drive, during Paris Fashion Week. Showcasing her practice of repurposing pre-existing materials, ranging from vintage rugs to silk scarves, members of her design team demonstrated the processes used to create her designs.

Atlein takes an unusual approach with discarded Nespresso pods

Sustainable fashion can be fun, especially in the hands of Atlein’s founder Antonin Tron, who decided to only use materials that were already in his studio for autumn/winter 2022. The stand-out pieces from the collection? A top and dress made up of used Nespresso pods that were intricately pieced together.

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