This season, the Fall/Winter Paris womenswear shows played host to a number of brands looking to promote altruism in the fashion industry, celebrating the skills of and collaborating with underprivileged communities to produce one-of-a-kind pieces with an empowering message.
At WOMAN, designer Tania George is using her F/W16-17 collection to help alleviate poverty, as well as promote independence among women in crisis and members of the refugee community in her native Jordan. Graphic embroideries and prints depicting the bustling capital, Amman, are hand-produced by individuals who are taught new skills and paid a fair wage, with each garment label telling their personal stories.
At Premiere Classe, a not-for-profit collaboration between European fashion designers and Las Manuelas, a group of artisan women from Mazocruz, Puno in Peru, is taking a 360-degree approach to accessory design. Every aspect of production, from the rearing and shearing of the alpacas through to the spinning and knitting of the oversized scarves, is overseen with great care taken to ensure a fully ethical process, implementing both natural dyes and a minimal carbon footprint.
Athens-based label OneOnOne also followed a ‘closed cycle’ method this season, from designing their own in-house patterns to spinning the yarns for their unique knitwear pieces. Working with local women from poor suburban areas, each numbered piece includes information about the manufacturing process and the circumstances of the people who made it.