London is fast gaining a reputation as the capital of ethical fashion, and the Estethica exhibition was one of the first of its kind to showcase ethical fashion during a major fashion week.
Estethica showcases the best of ethical fashion. Now in its seventh season, the event, sponsored by high-street chain Monsoon, has nearly tripled its number of exhibitors, from just above 10 to nearly 40. The exhibition is co-curated by Orsola de Castro, founder of From Somewhere, Filippo Ricci and the British Fashion Council.
In order to qualify for a position in Estethica, clothes and accessories brands from all over the word have to meet one of the following criteria: organic, fair trade or recycled.
Last season, Estethica was one of the opening catwalks of the Autumn/Winter Fashion Week, proving its importance alongside long-established designers such as Paul Costello and Caroline Charles. Article 23, Goodone, Minna and Nina Dolcetti are among the designers that will exhibit at Esthetica this year.
One of Estethica’s main achievement is to show consumers that ethical fashion does not necessarily mean frumpy clothes. In February 2009, Peter Ingwersen, founder of label Noir, explained to the Guardian that, “We all look to inspire the industry and consumers that sexiness, luxury, fashion, corporate social responsibility and ethics can work in harmony together without compromising style”.
At the forefront of ethical fashion initiatives
London Fashion Week has become the ideal place for the British government to launch fashion related initiatives. Last season, the government launched its Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (Scap) on the first day. Scap, supported by companies such as Tesco, Nike and Marks & Spencer aims at making the fashion industry greener. Initiatives include widening fair trade and organic fashion offer and not using factories employing children.