The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Lexus teamed up once again for the fifth year of the Lexus Eco Fashion Challenge, celebrating socially conscious design.
Announced last week, the worthy winners, Michael Miller and Katie DeGuzman, were awarded $75,000 to support their business – a Brooklyn based bohemian jewellery label K/LLER Collection. The money will go towards the use of sustainable practices and will help advance their ethical design processes.
All pieces are made in the US from recycled metals such as brass, creating a laid back ethnic style. The label faced stiff competition from the likes of eco fashion brands Reformation and Study NY, who were runners up, receiving $50,000.
On winning the coveted award, Miller stated;
“This is how you should be doing business; it’s not really a choice”
when discussing the importance of sustainability. All contestants had to use at least 30% eco fabrics and materials to qualify for the competition. Maria Corneho who won the award in 2010 added “unless sustainability is interesting, it doesn’t have a future.” This is very true of brands with an ethical ethos. To compete in a market saturated with cheap clothes and so many options, these socially conscious labels need to find a balance between ethics and aesthetics – keeping one step ahead.
That’s why initiatives like these are vital for bringing awareness to the importance of slow fashion, and traditional craftsmanship, that K/ller manages to demonstrate so well. We’re slowly witnessing a shift in the standard of socially conscious fashion, inspiring a new generation of sustainable designers.