With Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicking off yesterday, organiser IMG has announced this year will mark the start of a three-year plan to roll out sustainability initiatives across the entire event.
Taking place in Sydney from 12th to 18th May, Fashion Week will embrace new initiatives that aim to reduce its environmental impact – echoing the progress many Australian designers are making in their own sustainable practices.
First off the rank of the multi-year plan is making the operations of the event as sustainable as possible. This includes IMG partnering with reusable cup and bottle brand Frank Green on the elimination of all single-use plastic water bottles in the back-of-house area (and collaborating with San Pellegrino to do the same in guest areas) – a move that will save an estimated 11,000 single-use plastic bottles from landfill. Frank Green will be distributing stainless steel water bottles to over 2,500 staff, including designer teams, hair and makeup artists, models, production crew and volunteers, with backstage water stations making it easy for the bottles to be refilled. Plastic straws have also been outlawed at the event, will paper straws given out only on request.
As well as taking aim at single-use plastic, attendees will no longer receive printed materials from IMG – and event partners and designers will also be encouraged to make this move. Showrooms will be fitted with intelligent lighting fixtures, and energy consumption will be closely monitored to maximise future efficiency. Joining in the week will be brands that have incorporated sustainable and ethical practices in their processes, including the likes of Bassike, Elk, Lee Mathews, Silk Laundry and Le Buns.
Finally, to invite conversation around the fashion industry’s $21 billion responsibility, IMG will host “Fashionably Conscious” – a seminar focused on fashion’s ecological footprint, that will examine ways in which Australian labels, organisations and events can incorporate sustainability into their business models. Panellists will include Chris Buchanan of Tigerlily; Jackie Frank – patron of Thread Together and Marie Claire Australia launch editor and publisher; Bassike sustainability manager Renée Carpenter, and Marnie Goding – co-founder and creative director of ELK. Taking place on Friday 17 May at Carriageworks, “Fashionably Conscious” is part of MBFWA’s Seminar Series, which is accessible to the industry and the public alike.
To find out more about Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, head here.