It’s clear that sustainability is on the rise now more than ever in the fashion industry, and men’s fashion week in London (Jan 2020) was no exception, showcasing a variety of new sustainable fashion designers. 2020 might soon be known as the international year of upcycling and repurposing in fashion.

Nearly 20% of water waste is produced by the fashion industry and consumers throw away an annual average of 70 pounds of clothing per person. Up to 95% of textiles could actually be recycled so we should consider upcycling as a great practice that tackles several of the fashion industry’s problems.

Highlights from Men’s Fashion Week January 2020

Sustainability was a key theme on the runway with so many brands showcasing ethically produced pieces. Charles Jeffrey Loverboy brought sustainability to the runway by locally sourcing tartan from Lochcarron of Scotland and using GOTS-certified cotton. Scotland was clearly a key inspiration with the brand drawing inspiration from Scottish forests, landscapes and mushrooms.


Other brands took it even further by not only using sustainable materials but by making use of pre-existing items as well. Patrick McDowell and Emerging Menswear Talent award winner Bethany Williams’ both used upcycled materials in their collections.

Patrick McDowell’s latest collection used vintage belts, gloves and other elements upcycled from the London Fire Brigade as well as ethically produced fabrics and materials. Bethany Williams collection was 100% sustainable, using upcycled pieces of waste materials from toy factories and old bell tents.

Ahluwalia Studio also made a collection made completely out of repurposed or recycled materials, using materials from past projects and deadstock cloth. She even used lasers to ingrain curved shapes onto second-hand denim pieces.

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Carrying on with the sustainable line-up, E. Tautz also showed their commitment to sustainability by sourcing 50% of his collection from recycled materials, including old white shirts and jeans, patchwork and darning.

Models for Vinti Andrews took to the runway in orange and yellow hi-vis jackets, upcycled from Met police coats. The rest of the collection was made from deconstructed and repurposed vintage pieces.

When we talk about sustainability, independently of the industry, we always need to look at the three spheres. These are environmental, social and economic. In terms of fashion, brands are creating awareness and supporting ways of dressing that were previously looked down upon by society. Key examples of this were men not being able to wear skirts and women not being allowed to wear trousers years ago. Brands are becoming socially sustainable, as they are trying to push and promote the liberty of people. 

Gender fluidity in fashion has become more mainstream and normalized in a society that is still learning that fashion shouldn’t have any gender rules. This is because today’s generation is becoming more open-minded.

Art School are champions of this with their non-binary brand that is described as queer luxury. Their brand is all about creating inclusivity. They are so committed to this that they won’t work with any store that doesn’t have a gender-neutral changing room.


Bianca Saunders, a menswear designer born and based in london, also puts her own twist on men’s fashion by creating a collection that subtly introduces feminine aspects and characteristics to her menswear collection while drawing influence from her West-Indian background.

This is also something that Nicholas Daley masters in terms of mixing cultures for developing collections. He is known to reflect the multiculturalism of Britain with his collections and to use music as a source of inspiration. 

As supporters of the SDG developed by the United Nations, we cannot help but support brands that are committed to these goals, like fighting against gender and sexuality inequalities. Injustices are still happening when someone tries to express themselves in a non-heteronormative way. By using responsible consumption and production methods, brands will be able to develop alliances and partnerships to help them achieve their sustainable goals.

We cannot wait to see what these brands have to offer for their next collections!

What did you love the most at the London Men’s Fashion Week? Do not forget to leave us your comments here.

Dan Pontarlier
Partner, Ethical Brand Directory

Featured image source: E. Tautz autumn/winter 2020/21  CREDIT: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS



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