Alexander McQueen leads fashion sustainability fight by donating archived fabrics.

The past few months have been a time of reflection for most designers, there is a bigger focus on the sustainability of the industry than ever before. Now, the attention turns to paving the way for up and coming designers and ultimately how the fashion industry can become kinder to the environment.

Reworking unsold garments has always been a suggested way of dealing with the worlds mass landfill problem. The harsh reality is that unfortunately, the fashion industry is one of main contributors to the problem.

In a Forbes 2018 article titled ‘Fashions dirty little secret and how it’s coming clean,’ it was shockingly uncovered that $40million of fashion merchandise goes to landfill each year.

In the past, many fashion houses have been reluctant to rework and reuse fabrics into new garments because this conflicts the exclusivity of designer wear, and the luxury materials that are used per garment. Designers use this justification to reflect the luxury price tag that comes with it.

However, with the industry coming to a virtual standstill many designers have agreed to analyse the way they operate and as a result are reviewing fabric reuse and landfill contributions. One iconic fashion house who believes that practicing sustainability is fundamental to their operation is Alexander McQueen.

London fashion house giant Alexander McQueen launched their latest sustainability initiative. Donating yards upon yards of house fabrics and otherwise ‘useless’ cutaways to fashion collages around the UK. The house launched their forward thinking, and educational way of practical recycling on the Friday of London Fashion Week back in February. Some of the first colleges to receive the donated McQueen fabrics were Central Saint Martins and University of Westminster. The colleges shows at fashion week featured some of the McQueen fabrics in their final collections.

Sarah Burton, McQueen creative director acknowledged that sustainability has always been a part of the brands ethos. Burton announced in a press release

“The ethos at Alexander McQueen means that everything we use in researching and designing collections has always been archived and stored.”

As well as contributing towards a cleaner fashion industry, McQueen is also supporting young designers by providing them with resources they would usually have to source and pay for. McQueens initiative allows other designers to follow in their successful footsteps and continue to do so sustainably.

Written by Libby Dunne for Fashion Fiesta 2020