Pure London Spotlights Authenticity and Regenerative Fashion on Day Two
Day two of London’s leading fashion buying show at Olympia, Pure London, mixed next season trends with a focus on authenticity and regenerative fashion. With its Power of One® campaign driving the conversations on sustainability, regeneration, circularity, and ethical fashion, visitors gathered for hard-hitting conversations about fashion’s global impact from speakers including supermodel and activist Arizona Muse, author Dana Thomas, and Marilyn Martinez from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Offering up A Return to the Essentials for Spring Summer 2023, today’s trend presentation from Sebastian Renault and Malaika Ewande at Promostyl highlighted bold essentials that bring joyful energy to summer with a return to authenticity and nature. Summer 2023 will see ancestral gestures and artisans, embroidery, craftsmanship, knitted, and weaving taking centre stage. ‘Consumers are seeking a real or virtual escape into a dream world that only nature can provide’. The Natural Utilitarianism trend sees an urban mixture of colours and neutrals leading the way, with breathable outdoor essentials, upgraded rainwear, cargo pants, dresses, parkas, shorts, Bermuda shorts with pockets, large rustic knits, mesh polos, gilets, xxxl stripes, jacquard landscapes, and crochet. Functionality is key in this trend. Huge fields of colourful flowers, and an urban vegetable garden with a hint the psychedelic are reflected in a joyous colour palette of orangeade, peach, pear sorbet, summer flower, fresh almonds, lavender, aquas and black cherry.
With The Sea World in A Summer World trend, luxury has a sustainable DNA. Luxury markets are looking for a change of scenery, searching for peace and beauty. Think pure elegance and natural fabrics. Serenity is the new luxury. From fishing nets to rustic fringe, eco is key in this trend. Seashells and pearls dress up the fringes of summer style. Prints with a natural footprint set the scene, featuring a more blurred aesthetic as if drawn by hand. Shapes lose the geometric and become more abstract inspired by the movement of the waves. Raffia, woven, macrame, ropes, embroidered detailing with pearls are key here. This trend is counterbalanced with minimal shapes, straight forward volume, smooth cuts, loose summer suits and feminine tailoring. Colours in this trend are timeless and deep; India Summer, Sunray, Lagoon with gravel colours like Pebble, Bronze and Brown Clay.
Promostyl’s take on Street Fashion; Gen Z – Young was about breaking codes. Gen Z want to return to raw ultra-creativity, discovering who they are and stranding out. Feathers are key in this trend. Accessories are a mix-and-match, with big chains, silicone, and absorbing colour for rainbow looks. Colours here are pop and primary; Primary Red, Primary Yellow, Absinth Green, Mauve and Cyan. Patterns and graphics inspire wanderlust and the pull to seaside, whilst city looks and workwear are showcased with the preppy and quirky. Think New Tweed details across miniskirts and short jackets.
Dana Thomas returned to the stage with supermodel and sustainability consultant Arizona Muse to discuss their passion for building a regenerative fashion industry. She said: “[Arizona and I] are on the same path in how to make fashion a greener industry and therefore life a greener endeavour,” said Thomas.
Thomas is the author of Fashionopolis, a book about the price of fast fashion and the future of our clothes. She is also the European sustainability editor for Vogue. Muse has fronted campaigns for Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada and covered numerous international editions of Vogue. While modelling, Muse became curious about where her clothes came from and begun researching.
“Everything I looked at led me back to farmers. I didn’t really think of my clothes as being farmed for me,” Muse told the audience. Muse has since founded the charity Dirt which engages with brands to fund regenerative farming initiatives which improve soil health.
“Regeneration is the word that’s so exciting to me now. Sustainability means to sustain, to stay the same. We can’t do things the same as we have always been doing.”
Muse and Thomas went on to discuss how fashion can become regenerative through compostable clothing. Currently, most garments or accessories do not biodegrade because they are mode from plastics or include metal hardware. Toxic dyes in fashion are also presenting a problem for returning items to the soil. The duo wants to see designs that are made to biodegrade at end of life, or otherwise can be entered into circular systems to be reworn or recycled. “Everything we make today needs to last for a long, long time, whether that’s becoming new products, or becoming soil,” Thomas said.
Improving soil health has numerous benefits from being able to support more life on land, to improving the amount of carbon that soil can absorb from the atmosphere, helping us tackle the climate crisis. “Regenerating soil is one of the most important things we can do to deal with the climate crisis,” Muse emphasised. She encouraged visitors to understand more about farming, connect with the farmers who work in the fashion supply chain and improve their knowledge on what regenerative farming means.
They ended the talk discussing the long-term impact of our production and consumption saying: “We need to play a long game with everything we do in fashion, and life. Think 7 generations ahead.”
The following session discussed the future of vegan fashion and how it fits into the future of sustainable fashion. Marilyn Martinez, Project Manager of Ellen MacArthur Foundation said: "Veganism has put a challenge to the industry to innovate for new materials. The question is not whether veganism is going away - it's not, the question is how do we make vegan fashion circular."
Pure London’s Event Director Gloria Sandrucci, the show’s new Purely Sustainable advisor Olivia Pinnock, and Rachel Kan, Founder of Circular Retail took to the Catwalk to discuss the navigation of ethical and sustainable fashion, bringing Hyve’s Power of One® initiative to the forefront for visitors. The panel identified the power in the action of one, and the act for change as one. “We need to move away from the idea of the competitive” said Rachel, “Collaborative works in tangible actions for a true circular system. The goal is to bring upcycling into all aspects of fashion with system and viewpoint changes: waste can be beautiful.”
Across the rest of the show, Pure London served up a compelling international edit with brands attending from France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Australian Peru, India, Turkey, and many more countries.
Ariadna Vilalta from Driven Associates said on behalf of IVACE Internacional and AVECAL who showcased eight brands from Valencia, Spain including Chie Mihara and Lola Cruz: “London is a unique place where brands can display their collections. Pure London reflects that vibe, the freedom, alternative styles, eclectic and fun. Also, a fair where you find press and buyers from Japan, Poland, France etc... London is a trend setter and Pure London a very active, friendly and resolutive fair for brands and the perfect match for our manufacturers.”
Part of the Italian contingent of brands, Carmelo Nicotra from Scocca said: “This is my first time attending Pure London and I love it, the location, the people and the colours. It is very beneficial to my brand and I’ve met some interesting contacts that I will continue to speak with after this event. The best part of this event is being able to speak directly with our customers and draw inspiration.”
Daniela Napolitano from Danie added: “This is a beautiful event; thanks to the residence of Sicily we are able to exhibit at Pure London. I think it’s lovely that we can connect with other brands that are from our region; we all have the same values and needs, to keep up with sharing our products to the UK market.”
Maria Argento from Pikla said: “I haven’t exhibited at Pure London before, but it has been successful and enjoyable. The reason we came here is to be able to relate with our clients and tell our story directly to our customers, especially since Covid. We’ve made lots of contacts that we will continue to liaise with so for that reason I would say this event has been successful for networking and I will be attending again.”
From Turkey, Anne Caro of Anne Caro said: “This is my first time exhibiting, I’m finding it very interesting. We want to bring awareness to our brand as we only have an online presence, so we want to find some agents who are more familiar with the local market. We chose Pure London because of the location and the market, people in London are more courageous when it comes to their style and fashion. As my first time exhibiting, I’m finding it to be a great learning curve and it’s great for networking too. We are making those connections between our brand and the buyers. Overall as a new brand, this event is exciting I’m enjoying being able to see other designers and seeing what’s going to be in season.”
Lalit Agarwal from Indian brand Yavi commented; “We’ve been exhibiting here for over two and a half years, this year a lot of our old customers came through who have not had any stocks. They appreciate our products so they immediately came and placed orders. This year we have been busier than ever before. Our products have to be felt, the material and textures are the reason people love our clothes. This event allows our buyers to really see and feel the quality of our products and that is why they buy it. You cannot sell these kinds of clothes online, people need to feel it. Our relationship with our customers is beautiful and organic, they are able to understand our brand more and their customers love our clothes too.”
The show closed with the Source Fashion launch party. Replacing Pure Origin from February 2023, Source Fashion is the gateway to UK retail, a leading sourcing destination where buyers and manufacturers all around the world can connect to source ethical and sustainable materials for their new ranges from reliable international raw material providers and manufacturers who have sustainable and ethical processes at the core of their business.