LONDON — The endless fashion week cycle and the physical waste it generates — between samples produced, runway show costs, plane tickets purchased, and time spent to-ing and fro-ing to showrooms — is old news. Everyone realizes it has to stop, but few are brave enough to make big changes in an inherently wasteful industry.
Designers, particularly smaller, independent brands with budgets to manage, are slowly starting to address the issue by showing two large collections a year, that can then be divided into multiple drops. This is particularly relevant for accessories, as the brands don’t have to stage fashion shows or participate as actively as their rtw-focused counterparts.
They are finding that producing two comprehensive pre-collections — and hosting showrooms during the January and June pre-collection markets — makes a lot more sense.
“Most retailers allocate 70 percent of their budget to pre-collections, which makes designing a whole new collection for ‘main’ wasteful in sample production costs,” said Estelle Orilland, who recently founded the handbag label Stee Atelier and who previously worked for the likes of Chloé, Stella McCartney and Marni as an accessories designer.
“Encouraging retailers to make two bigger orders a year instead of four smaller orders cuts delivery costs, and therefore emissions,
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