After several seasons of cancelled and virtual shows Copenhagen Fashion Week returned to the Danish capital last week and the industry’s most sustainable fashion week made up for lost time with a full schedule of shows, presentations and parties.
As well as the return of Scandi street style, SS23 saw the latest edition of Zalando’s Sustainability Award. Created in 2019 to help accelerate sustainability in the fashion industry, award finalists MWorks and British designer Raeburn showed on schedule, with London and Reykjavík based designer, Ranra, being announced as the winner in a ceremony on the final show day of the week.
After accepting their award Ranra founders, Arnar Mar Jonsson and Luke Stevens, told ELLE UK: ‘We work quite differently in terms of ways that are widely recognised as sustainable and a lot of time these things take place in the background and quite often they slip under the radar so to see those things being recognised and rewarded is really inspiring and encouraging to continue in the way that we’re working.
‘The sustainability award broadens the understanding of what we mean by sustainability and how we approach it.’
Ranra stated in their show notes that their SS23 collection highlighted the ‘use of natural materials and finishes that are at the core of the label’s ongoing design ethos’. Jonsson explained their unique dying process, noting: ‘I moved back to Iceland two years ago and our first idea was how can we use the land because we don’t have any textile history apart from one wool that you can knit from, we wanted to figure out a way to use the land.
‘I had recently purchased a house and I just took all the heather from around the house and we figured out a way to use it to dye – we literally just wanted to introduce the landscape into clothes.’
Ranra follow previous winners House of Dagmar, Nikolaj Storm and Iso, and will receive £18,000 in prize money along with the opportunity to partner with Zalando in developing an exclusive capsule collection with a sustainability focus.
East London-based designer Christopher Raeburn said of being a finalist of this year’s award: ‘Most of what we do at Raeburn is common sense; making the most of what you have and about being respectful and resourceful with the planet so in theory it should get good traction in Scandinavia.
‘The way we work has been embedded in the company from the beginning. We’re very clear about our ethos and I think that gives the whole team a really good structure.’
Copenhagen Fashion Week has long been a sustainability pioneer, and in 2020 it introduced its Sustainability Action Plan, which outlined a minimum set of standards that all show schedule brands must confirm to by AW23.
Its sustainability award, which is open to international applicants, aims to encourage fashion brands to explore sustainable alternatives” class=”link “>fashion brands to explore sustainable alternatives and recognise strategies that contribute to a more sustainable industry. This year the winner was chosen by an expert panel of judges including activist Arizona Muse and Copenhagen Fashion Week CEO’s Cecilie Thorsmar.
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