Over the next few months, we will be introducing you to each of the ten finalists for the Kering Award for Sustainability 2016, ahead of the winner announcements in November. Since January 2016, these students have been developing and refining their sustainability projects, and presented them to an esteemed panel of judges from Kering, the London College of Fashion and each of our partner brands, luxury suit company Brioni and vegetarian, fur- and leather-free company Stella McCartney.
BA Bespoke Tailoring student James Eardley drew on his experience working in luxury tailors, and the traditional tailoring crafts he learned while at the London College of Fashion to present his concept ‘Meno e Meglio’ for the Kering Award.
‘My concept, Meno e Meglio, aims to demonstrate a Spring/Summer collection for Brioni that celebrates progression within sustainability. The core of the concept is to take less from the planet whilst continuing to produce luxury suits using innovative techniques. To do so, I deconstructed the suit, re-applying only what was absolutely vital, and removing unnecessary materials.’
After conducting his material research, he realized that no matter what material was being produced, and how sustainable it may appear to be, water, energy and core fibres were required in the production, consequently depleting the world’s natural resources. It was this realization that informed his decision to design a jacket in which no unnecessary material was used.
In addition, James replaced the traditional materials with their more sustainable counterparts, such as organic Cambridge cotton in place of body canvas, and bamboo silk as a sleeve lining.
James has experience working in a variety of tailors, where he learned the importance of rigorous attention to detail for a garment, as well as how fabrics are constructed and their origins. It was this experience that enabled him to combine luxury with sustainability in his Kering Award project.
‘Quality tailoring is made for life and I believe this ethos should spread throughout the fashion industry. When a bespoke suit is constructed, the idea is that the suit will last the customer their entire life. By encompassing this mentality and applying it alongside responsible fabric sourcing and usage, as well as innovative construction techniques, my design ethos is to contribute towards a sustainable future that also enriches the customer’s life.’
The Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion is part of a five-year partnership launched in 2014 between Kering and Centre for Sustainable Fashion at LCF, UAL, to support sustainable practices and innovation in the fashion industry. The partnership is three-fold and also includes an annual lecture – The Kering Talk – and a co-developed Masters’ level curriculum on sustainable design.
Keep your eye on the blog to hear about each of the other finalists, and for the all important winner announcements in November. And you can find out more about the LCF x Kering partnership here.