Fashion’s eco evolution

These brands are leading the charge with sustainable initiatives to generate meaningful change.

From independent designers to global names, sustainability is a concern that no brand can ignore as we demand greater accountability with our carefully chosen purchases. Across The Bicester Village Shopping Collection, these are just some of the brands using their international platform to inspire change and further our knowledge of what fashion can achieve on a global scale.


The sustainable OG: Stella McCartney

Since the brand’s inception, sustainability has been integral to the DNA of Stella McCartney who is passionate about the role fashion should be playing in the preservation of our planet. With a clear ethos that sustainability is not a trend but the future of fashion, even its UK offices, stores and studios are powered by wind energy. At its last fashion show Stella McCartney provided a green timeline showing its key milestones, including the use of organic cotton since 2008 – before most brands were even paying attention to their environmental impact. Plus, its recent collection uses sustainable materials such as organic cotton and upcycled denim.


Leading the pact: KARL LAGERFELD

In keeping with its reputation for a cutting-edge approach to fashion, KARL LAGERFELD is continuing to elevate its sustainability credentials. As one of the first thirty-two brands to sign the Fashion Pact in August 2019, KARL LAGERFELD committed itself to the pact’s core objectives: mitigating and adapting to global warming, bending the curve on biodiversity loss, and addressing the critical loss of ocean functionality due to climate change and pollution.

To date, 50 companies have signed the pact, representing 30% of the global fashion industry. KARL LAGERFELD continues to improve its sustainability with the careful selection of materials. In its fall 2020 collection, all polybags and button bags were made of 100% certified recycled plastic. It also crafts all woven labels and care labels with 100% certified recycled content. In the near future, dust bags will be made of organic cotton as well as a large part of its jersey apparel.


The visionary: Tommy Hilfiger

Driven by a goal to ‘waste nothing and welcome all’, Tommy Hilfiger has recently announced its ambitious approach for achieving circularity and inclusivity by 2030. Named ‘Make it possible’, the American icon is striving towards 24 targets, outlined across four key pillars. The first is for all products to be fully circular; the second, to source sensitively with respect to “planetary boundaries”. The third pillar is to become a brand that’s always inclusive and accessible, while the fourth means creating equal access to opportunities within the company.

“As our brand has evolved over the years, driven by this inclusive spirit, so has our commitment to social and environmental sustainability. With Make it Possible, we will go even further with our commitment. We’re working towards our vision with the entire organisation focused on it and, while we’re not there yet, we are going to get there,” says Tommy Hilfiger.


Committed to change: L’Occitane en Provence

While the roots of L’Occitane lie in beautiful Provence, its initiatives reach much further afield, and it has long promoted sustainability while also celebrating the beauty of nature. Through its charitable arm, L’Occitane Foundation, the brand has launched projects that support women in Burkina Faso to gain financial independence and that prevent blindness in children in Bolivia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. L’Occitane has a long list of other initiatives promoting sustainable development and biodiversity in addition to using natural, responsibly grown ingredients in its products.


A plastic odyssey: Clarins

In 2018, iconic cosmetics brand Clarins was the first business to join non-profit organisation The Plastic Odyssey Expedition’s marine adventure, as sponsor of its three-year mission that began this year. Aiming to raise awareness of ocean plastics, The Plastic Odyssey Expedition is a boat powered solely by energy from the plastic waste harvested at each of its stopovers during its long journey. Supporting sustainable initiatives isn’t new to Clarins. Founder Christian Courtin-Clarins banned plastic bags at all till points back in 1999, something almost unheard of more than 20 years ago.


Responsible living strategy: Diesel

Earlier this year the founder of Diesel, Renzo Rosso, announced that the Italian brand has implemented a new strategy focused on “taking action for the benefit of current and future generations” – even joining ‘The Fashion Pact’, a global alliance of fashion brands committed to environmental goals. As part of the initiative, the brand is looking at how it can create alternative, responsible products and packaging by using low-impact materials and innovative techniques. This year, a new focus on the brand’s greenhouse gas emissions and water footprint has marked an important step in its sustainable evolution.


Walk the walk: Timberland

Timberland is best known for its iconic boots, but it’s the signature tree emblem on them that reveals the outdoor wear brand’s pledge to supporting the world through promoting sustainability. Last year it committed to planting 50 million trees by 2025 – enough to circle the world 11 times! Sustainability has always been rooted in the brand and its collections, and it even offers employees 40 hours each per year to contribute to green activities. It’s fair to say they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk in some very practical, fashionable shoes.


The all-rounder: Levi’s®

In addition to initiatives such as reducing water consumption in denim production, promoting sustainable cotton farming and extending the life of its pieces with the Levi’s® Tailor Shop services, the brand has recently unveiled its most sustainable denim ever. A new collection of garments in its Wellthread™ line for 2020 uses Circulose, a new material produced by re:newcell that breaks down discarded cotton textiles in water and then processes them to create a viscose fibre. The brand has guaranteed that all parts of the jeans including trims and threads will meet the brand’s recycling specifications, meaning they can be reprocessed again and again.


Reinventing icons: Polo Ralph Lauren

How stylish can a plastic bottle be? Polo Ralph Lauren has put this question to the test with its Earth Polo, a shirt created with fabric made by manufacturing thread from recycled plastic bottles. For this initiative, the brand has partnered with sustainable organisation First Mile, which works with entrepreneurs to collect the recyclable bottles that are then used to create the thread. In addition, it is available in a selection of colours that are dyed with a waterless process, meaning its iconic polo is both timeless and sustainable.

Discover these brands and many more across The Bicester Village Shopping Collection.