Eight Irish and international brands delivering directional design without environmental cost
One no longer discounts the other. 2019 will be a year of awakening for the fashion industry, one that will go down in history as the most ethical. Meet the new designers pioneering the high-fashion sustainability movement.
Sustainability is a fundamental pillar of Hansine Johnston’s synonymous label, which is a cultivated blend of her combined cultures – Greek, Danish and Irish.
Hansine has a distinctively Bohemian characteristics and includes printed mini dresses and elegant mohair knits made using bespoke Italian fabrics made from viable mills in Italy. Travelling from exotic beaches to bucolic countryside settings inspires her collections. Hansine.co.
London-based Irish designer Aisling Duffy’s self-titled label of clothes, accessories and homewares is bold, bright and borderline kitsch, but never overpowering. Her work is printed onto vegan-friendly fabrics and reclaimed, hand-embroidered T-shirts, while hand-drawn graphic prints are produced using methods that require less water. Aislingduffy.co.uk.
French designer Marine Serre is part of a new wave of conscious designers intent on reshaping sustainable fashion. She uses a combination of recycled fabrics and reclaimed materials, as well as innovative new ethical fabrics to create dramatic silhouettes, shapes and texture combinations. For AW18, Serre up-cycled and sourced more than 1,500 vintage silk scarfs. Marineserre.com.
Matt & Nat
For the new year, consider a cruelty-free vegan leather baf from Material and Nature (Matt & Nat for short), a Montreal-based brand making sustainable luxury leather goods. The brand’s ethos is to “live beautifully” by being socially responsible in the making of every handmade piece. Bag linings are made of recycled plastic bottles. Mattandnat.com.
A Central Saint Martins prodigy, Richard Malone makes a point of sourcing his fabrics from “the most sustainable company in the world” (at Taroni, Italy). It uses minimal water and acid-free dye. The 26-year old’s colourful, cheerfully chic AW18 showcase of circle-cut jackets, sweeping coats, swishy knit dresses – the fabric of which is commissioned by a community of weavers in Tamil Nadu, India – echoes this commitment.
Malone, whose clothes appeal to the 20-to-infinity age bracket, loves using double-faced silks, reusable fabric Econyl (regenerated nylon from landfills and oceans around the world), dye-free fabrics and recycled tarpaulin. He has a point to prove: sustainability is sexy. @Richardmalone.
Mandkhai Jargalsaikhan is passionate about educating consumers to make informed choices about the cashmere they buy. For her eponymous label, she maintains complete control of the supply chain, from free roaming goats on the plains of Mongolia through to the dyeing process. The Mongolian designer creates her cashmere pieces using a blend of modern techniques infused with traditional methods. The result is a beautiful edit of super-modern cashmere, two-piece suits, detailed bomber jackets, wide-leg pants and emblazoned coats. Mandkhai.com.
Inspired by her adoptive home in Ireland, Poland native Kasia Eska-Grajek turned her devotion for zero-waste fashion into a meaningful business, creating bespoke jewellery from 100 per cent recycled materials. BeorKNOTtobe takes pride in producing slow fashion, hand-crocheting reclaimed, chunky yarn into a one-of-a-kind statement necklaces and home décor. @BeorKNOTtobe.
Forester is an Irish vegan brand focusing on creating the perfect balance of style, performance and sustainability. Choose from small vegan ‘leather’ goods, high-quality backpacks, and the ultimate vegan hold-all. All Forester bags are produces using vegan, Portuguese cork. Foresterproducts.com.
This article originally appeared in the Jan/Feb issue of IMAGE Magazine, on shelves now.