In some ways, this fashion month was arguably more eco-friendly than those pre-pandemic. With the majority of editors and buyers still unable to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions, we instead tuned into the shows digitally (or via a newspaper sent directly to our homes, in the case of Loewe). But on the catwalks, the conversation around sustainability has been noticeably quieter for autumn/winter 21, despite the urgent need for the industry to reduce its impact on the planet.
Still, the likes of Gabriela Hearst have continued to champion eco-friendly practices, producing a debut collection at Chloé that was said to be four times more sustainable than the brand’s AW20 offering. Meanwhile, rising designers such as Chopova Lowena, Ahluwalia and Rave Review have demonstrated once again how it’s possible to repurpose discarded materials into pieces you’ll want to keep forever.
So, if you’re looking to invest in long-lasting pieces that come with strong-eco-credentials, too, here are the best sustainable looks to invest in from the autumn/winter 21 catwalks—from maxi knits you can WFH in (both during the pandemic and beyond) to patchwork coats that are sure to make a statement.
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Chloé jumper dress
While the puffcho (that’s a cross between a puffer coat and poncho, for the uninitiated) was one of the more innovative designs in Gabriela Hearst’s debut collection for Chloé, it’s her striped maxi knits that have caught our eye—with 80 per cent of the collection’s cashmere being recycled this season.
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Chopova Lowena printed dress
Chopova Lowena’s star continues to rise, not least since Harry Styles wore the brand’s pleated skirt in American Vogue’s November cover shoot. Once again, upcycling featured heavily in autumn/winter 2021—and we’re coveting this throw-on-and-go dress featuring the label’s typically bold prints.
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Marine Serre leather coat
Leather is a highly controversial material in sustainability circles, but Marine Serre’s elegant patchwork coat, stitched together using deadstock, is a guilt-free purchase that will stand the test of time.
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Ahluwalia statement knit
With Priya Ahluwalia winning the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design for her sustainable practices and design excellence, who better to invest in this season? Our pick is this graphic knit, featuring the Ahluwalia emblem: a compass made up of afro combs, facing the four corners of the world.
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Conner Ives dress
Despite only graduating from Central Saint Martins in the summer of 2020, Conner Ives has quickly become a designer to watch, after being hired by Rihanna when he was still a student. This checked dress, made using leftover fabric donated by Carolina Herrera, is on our moodboard for when we finally return to the office.
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One thing’s for sure: we could all do with a good party as we come out the other side of lockdown. Our partywear of choice? This Germanier three-piece, which is embellished with upcycled Swarovski crystals.
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Gabriela Hearst poncho
All this time spent at home over the past year has made comfort more important than ever—a trend that’s set to continue as we emerge from the pandemic. That’s why Gabriela Hearst’s patchwork poncho, lovingly handknit by Manos del Uruguay women’s collective, is the perfect investment for many winters to come.
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Rave Review blanket coat
Scandi brand Rave Review has quickly become known for its signature blanket coats, repurposed using—you’ve guessed it—old blankets. Not only is it a sustainable choice, but each of their coats is one-of-a-kind, meaning you’re sure to make a statement.
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Vivienne Westwood checked jacket
Maybe it’s all of those walks we’ve been on lately, but practical outerwear is high on our wishlist at the moment. Vivienne Westwood’s take on the classic Barbour jacket ticks all the boxes, thanks to the designer’s long-standing eco-credentials.