Estethica Challenges Green Fashion Designers to Understand Supply Chain

raeburn bunny factory photo

Christopher Raeburn's bunny making production line using up scrap fabrics at London Fashion Week SS11. Photo: Leonora Oppenheim

As London Fashion Week's Estethica continues to grow--and garner more attention from the mainstream industry--so, too, does their attempt to pinpoint a finer definition of green fashion: the sustainable platform is putting its applicants through an 18-question application, which asks everything from design to end-of-life management, Ecouterre reports.

Estethica's new questionnaire comes as a result of a collaboration between Made-By and Burak Cakmak, director of corporate sustainability for the Gucci Group. But it can and is meant to be used for more than just screening applicants for London Fashion Week. Allanna McAspurn, Made-By's U.K. general manager, told Ecouterre: "The idea was to create a holistic picture by looking at what issues can be addressed at all stages of a product's lifecycle and also show how many issues and stages are related."

From Somewhere Speedo SS11 photo

From Somewhere with Speedo, Estethica Spring 2011. Photo: From Somewhere

The importance of designer's knowing their supply chain through the development of establishing relationships with suppliers is growing in the green fashion community. Summer Rayne Oakes' newly launched Source4Style is not only a marketplace for sourcing sustainable textiles, but the online platform encourages discussion between designers and suppliers by connecting them directly.

In addition, the Outdoor Industry Association's (OIA) Eco Index provides companies--throughout the supply chain--with a way to benchmark and measure the environmental footprint of their products. Through environmental indicators and a comparative scoring system--a more in-depth approach a products' environmental footprint than Made-By's questionnaire--brands are shown exactly where and how a consumer product and/or a product life cycle can be improved.

McAspurn encourages designers to establish a full understanding of their supply chain. She tells Ecouterre, "It can be useful to use third-party auditors, but the best method is often to create good and long-lasting relationships with your suppliers where they trust you enough to be honest about the actual situation and are willing to work with you on any improvements."

Read the complete list of 18 Tough Questions Every Sustainable Fashion Designer Needs to Answer, over at Ecouterre.

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