Sustainable Brands at New York Fashion Week

By: Natalie Benoit, Victoria Gonzalez & Emily Cristobal 

The Sustainable New York Fashion Week Show at Pier 59 brought forth a conversation about ethically designing fashion and reusing materials to help combat climate change. The designers there opened up on how their lines approach fashion in an eco-friendly way, especially since the industry contributes around 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.  

Bamboozld launched in 2014 as an Australian brand that supports comfortability and sustainability for both men and women. The line is all about being “good for you and our planet,” through the use of hypoallergenic bamboo fabric. 

The line works with the fabric because bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, uses 35% less water than other plants and is sensitive toward easily irritated skin. According to the company, bamboo fabric is great for undergarments because it’s a breathable material and is soft to the touch. 

Designers at the event also recognized the irony in a bamboo tree producing such a soft yarn. Bamboo stalks are very hard so the perception is that the material would, therefore, be harsh on skin. 

Bamboozld strives to minimize the supply chain in the industry while also partnering with small communities in south and west China. The partnership provides the necessary product it needs and gives constant income to these communities.   

Bamboozled wasn’t the only brand turning heads at the Sustainable NYFW Show. The designer of the label Born Again Vintage, is Bridgett Artise, another sustainable fashion expert. 

Her personal style and latest collection educate the public on how fast fashion damages the planet and how the designer does her part to prevent global warming. 

“Upcycling is a substantial way to keep your clothing longer, to keep it out of the landfill, so upcycling could be changing the buttons on something, removing the cuffs, it could be adding a collar, its anything you do to a garment and give it a longer life,” Artise explained at the fashion show. One of her ethical approaches is choosing to upcycle materials like denim, vintage fur and sweater knits.

As difficult it may be to resist the temptation of buying new clothes, Artise believes there are plenty of ways you can turn your wardrobe into an eco-friendly closet.

“Shopping smart is how you start, if it’s something you only want because it’s cute for that moment it means you really shouldn’t make that purchase, ” she added.

Donating to thrift shops might seem like an easy option, but many of those companies send clothes overseas, which emits more greenhouse gases. Artise says it’s counterproductive. 

“What you should be buying are things that you know are going to be a stable outfit in your closet that will last and it can go with different things and it’s diverse.”

The planet-conscious designer is hopeful the world will work toward fighting the effects of climate change. 

“The fact that we’re at a place where we’re talking about sustainability, I do think well get there but I think it’s more about awareness and people getting to know what it means.” Spreading the word about the effectiveness of this fashion trend, it could help save the Earth and the fashion industry. 

Among Bamboozld and Born Again Vintage was the footwear line Unis Brands. The Pennsylvania-based brand shared its newest collection Yin & Yang, at the Sustainable NYFW Show. 

Nicholas Unis launched the customizable shoe brand which featured sleek and sporty shoes made out of recycled water bottles. In their pop-up shop, they explained the process behind the making of their shoes, starting from empty water bottles to custom 3-D printing shoe sizes.