And so, in the blink of an eye, London Fashion Week came and went…

While the style set may have migrated onwards to the sartorial shenanigans of Milan and Paris (you can follow it all via our Instagram), we’ve still got plenty of food for thought to digest from our own home turf.

One name who left her mark on the Capital this season is fashion stalwart Arizona Muse who, in collaboration with The Sustainable Angle – a non-profit organisation that aims to help designers reduce their carbon footprints – and a roster of championing London-based designers, has created a series of garments that are changing the landscape of luxury through their mindful approaches. We’re talking clothes fashioned from non-toxic vegan ‘leathers', Tencel (a nutri-fibre akin to silk) and Piñatex, a natural textile that, wait for it, is made from pineapple leaves! 

We spoke to Arizona in her ambassadorial role at The Sustainable Angle, to learn more about the initiative and those innovative fabrics that made their way into the collections.

How did The Sustainable Angle come to be at London Fashion Week? What’s the background behind your involvement with the initiative?
It really all began with me approaching the now-participating designers and asking if they wanted to make a sustainable garment for me; I explained that I was putting together this showcase at London Fashion Week and that I’d love to have them involved. Luckily, they were more than up for it – since they make clothes themselves anyway, it was really painless! This season, we challenged Temperley London, Edeline Lee, Emilia Wickstead, Felder + Felder, Galvan, Roland Mouret, and my own brand with Georgia Macintyre to create a series of garments using wholeheartedly sustainable materials.

The process was straightforward. Our only request was that The Sustainable Angle could approve the materials they were using and to let us know the name of the mill and their certifications. That said, I do believe the accreditation process needs to be clearer for the industry – there are so many certifications out there and I really think it needs to be slimmed down, since many production teams aren’t actually aware of what is and/or isn’t sustainable and what all these labels actually mean. 

Talk us through the details and fabrics that have been used here… They’re making light work of dispelling any notions of ‘eco-fashion’ being an antonym for luxury!
Some sustainable materials are incredibly futuristic – like environmentally-friendly, totally biodegradable sequins! They are something we want to show as an alternative to plastic sequins, however you could also use ones made from 100% recycled plastic. Through working with these sustainable materials, it means we’re not adding to the amount of petrochemicals in the environment. Anything that we can reuse is a step in the right direction – plus, since we’re using super bright colours, they don’t look stereotypically ‘sustainable’, as such.

We also have a leather alternative, which we would recommend to anyone who still uses leather and would like to use something that has less of an environmental impact. Despite the fact that leather is a by-product, it’s still supporting a wider, bigger industry. Also, the traditional tanning method is incredibly toxic, so we’ve used a biopolymer. Basically, all the dye is totally safe; it was made in Japan in a closed-leak process so it doesn’t leak chemicals into the environment, which is one of the most important things! After all, even if you are working with a natural fibre or a non-toxic fibre, processing it with chemicals and leaching those into the rivers makes it an unsustainable practice. 

I’ve designed some pieces with Piñatex, which is made from pineapples! It’s cool, I know… We’ve also lined the looks with Tencel, which is made from nutri-fibre and is also closed-leak processed. 

We heard on the grapevine that you’ve been working on a special project; are you able to tell us more?
Hopefully, launching in April, I’m starting my own brand with a friend who is a designer. I can’t tell you the name yet – but I can tell you that we’re going to be making party dresses! The Sustainable Angle will definitely help us source, but they don’t make any money off of selling the fabric. Instead, they will be a great resource for us to help with sourcing these fabrics, as we aren’t going to use anything that isn’t sustainable and doesn’t sit with our principles. 

What do you think about the current climate of ‘sustainability’ and its potential going forwards? 
I’m excited about sustainability; I’m excited to look at fashion in a different way! It’s just really fun. There are so many levels of learning. For example, I personally don’t own an electric car because I am really concerned about the batteries. We have a huge issue that we globally creating more and more of them, which have such a short lifespan. Think how often your phone battery dies… Can you imagine what it’s like for a car? They don’t have a long life and then, eventually, they go to the dump and are highly toxic. Certain things sound really great at first, but when you scratch the surface you realise you need to look deeper into it. It’s fascinating actually!