The Paris Haute Couture shows may well have provided plenty of column inches with the oh-so-stylish of late, but just over the border at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, a groundbreaking event ushered in the International Year of Biodiversity.
Tackling style and sustainability firmly on the chin, ‘Eco Chic’ presented creations by 52 prominent fashion designers hailing from around 40 countries. The catwalk show featured one-off designs from the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, John Rocha, Manish Arora, Ziad Ghanem, and Thakoon. Sustainable labels such as Noir, EDUN, and Ciel also added impact to the cause.
Attending the 2-day event and catwalk show were over 450 influential figures from government, private sector and non-governmental organizations. The key objective of ‘Eco Chic’ was to promote the positive impact that fashion could have on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. The high-fashion ready-to-wear and couture garments were made from a variety of biodiversity-protecting fabrics such as hemp, bamboo, alpaca, soya, organic cotton and organic silks.
Current processes such as cotton production, leather tanning, bleaching and dyeing use large amounts of water, energy or toxic chemicals, and emit effluents. They are profit-driven processes which harm the environment as well as the health of those that work with them.