An Internet search for “Anna Wintour” and “subway” yields images of the PR stunt at the end of August and various theories speculating whether the Vogue head ever bravely took the subway. But as sustainability continues to reign supreme, public transit, along with other eco-bragging rights, will very likely set fashion leaders apart from the followers of this New York Fashion Week.
“Each season, I try to attend as many shows as possible to see not only the new collections of CFDA members, but the creativity that New York fashion as a whole has to offer during the exciting Fashion Week season,” said the CEO. Stephen Kolb said. A member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America told his WWD. “From an attendee perspective, I highly recommend using public transport — I often travel by subway. [from] Show-to-show — or ride a city bike, rideshare, or team up with colleagues heading to the same destination. But of course, when I have time, I walk a lot. ”
During a conversation about CFDA’s sustainability goals for the Spring 2023 show season, Kolb referred to a 2020 study the CFDA conducted with the Boston Consulting Group to measure the impact of NYFW. The study, which Kolb called a sustainability “playbook,” found that he had between 40,000 and 80,000 tons of his CO2 emissions during NYFW. In addition to physical event production, energy usage, gifts and invitations, travel costs are added.
Transportation (air and ground travel) and physical event production continue to account for a significant percentage of NYFW’s carbon footprint and overall energy use this season. Ride-sharing services such as self-owned may have improved their environmental impact, but a 2021 study from Carnegie Mellon University found that ride-sharing apps have a higher environmental impact than private cars due to one factor. We found it to be about 60% larger. It’s called “dead heading,” where the driver waits for a vehicle and scours the road alone. (A Lyft spokesperson said the company is always looking for ways to partner, highlighting its next-generation electric bikes, subsidized business bike plans and Lyft Pass as outlets to encourage fashion show-goers. ).
Given the partnership that exists between the New York City Department of Sanitation and designers during the off-calendar “ReFashion Week,” it’s not out of the question for the Metropolitan Transit Authority to work with the event to provide a swipe-and-tap environment. And amid the deepening climate crisis, where celebrities are shamed for going over their allotted water budgets or using private jets, fashion is only just beginning to use pressure tactics.
Until then, the responsibility remains with the brand.
“As a first step, brands can measure and track their energy consumption along with their waste, set achievable energy reduction targets, and commit to working with their production teams to meet those reduction targets,” said Kolb. continued Mr. “Examples that can contribute significantly to his CO2 reduction include LED and outdoor/natural lighting that can save up to 90% energy. Integration of show-related transport and sample production logistics, as well as digital invitations and Lookbook selection.”
Some aspects are easier to measure than others, like tallying digital programming. Runway 360, CFDA’s Digital Market Week platform, boasts a number of digital shows, but the Spring 2023 shows are down slightly from Spring 2022 in terms of digital offerings. Perhaps just 10% of shows are going digital this season, compared to 23% last year, just like their more lenient attitude to the pandemic.
Financial sustainability also weighs heavily on small and medium-sized designers. For this reason, almost 20 years ago he enacted the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Foundation to help the designer. The CFDA also counts open access resource hubs such as sustainability guides and materials indexes on Cfda.com.
However, downsizing may be the move of the season.
“Many brands with in-person shows choose to host smaller, static exhibitions by appointment or in combination with virtual presentations,” said Kolb. increase. “Carbon offsets and buybacks are widely used for compensation, but should not be seen as a substitute for sound reduction strategies. To reduce waste responsibly, avoid single-use plastics and biodegrade Using reclaimed or reused set materials and arranging for the props to be recycled or donated to a reuse center is an important first step.”
Some sustainable designers like Angel Chang are turning back the clock on the fast-set fashion system.
Chan’s “Weaving the Future with Indigenous Weaves” womenswear presentation on Thursday traces her unique design philosophy. Completely natural and electricity-free, the collection is locally made by fabric artisans from the minority Miao and Dong ethnic groups in rural Guizhou, China.
“My collection follows a zero carbon design approach that I have created myself. My zero carbon design philosophy follows three core principles: no electricity, all natural and locally made. ‘ said Chan. “By following these rules, the collection is made without the use of plastics, synthetic chemicals or fossil fuels. Each piece is 100% handmade, seed-to-button, starting with our ground-grown heirloom cotton, hand-spun, hand-woven, dyed and sewn.”
Chan modified today’s industry norms by leaning into the millennia-old art of garment manufacturing.
“For me, it feels easy to be part of the fashion system because I was trained in the fashion system,” she said. “I know what the industry can and cannot do, and the means to move it forward. Clothing has historically been made in a sustainable way, but we need to revive these traditional practices that are healthier for ourselves and the planet. can do.