Alice + Olivia debuted a sustainable Fall 2020 collection at New York Fashion Week — and it’s just the latest major luxury brand to pivot its efforts towards curbing fashion’s 2.5 billion pound waste problem

  • Alice + Olivia debuted its Fall 2020 collection, which was inspired by global art history, at New York Fashion Week.
  • The label also showcased its collaboration with Daniel Silverstein, a designer also known as “Zero Waste Daniel,” with an eponymous fashion line that hopes to produce clothing with no waste.
  • Alice + Olivia now joins Stella McCartney, Gucci, and other luxury brands that are hoping to become more environmentally conscious.
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Stacey Bendet, founder and CEO of the luxury label Alice + Olivia, said in a press release that her new Fall 2020 collection was inspired by the “globetrotter” – and it shows. The collection can be described, in short, as a love letter to the world of art and decor. It also featured a collaboration with Daniel Silverstein of “Zero Waste Daniel,” who helped Bendet redesign a few of her staple items – including her popular high-rise boyfriend jeans – to become more environmentally sustainable.

Alice and Olivia

Bendet founded Alice + Olivia in 2002, and it has since become one of the top brands in womenswear. Once known largely for its jeans, the brand has now expanded to include ready-to-wear gowns, shoes, accessories, and handbags. Over time, the brand has become a favourite of Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama, and actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba.

Bendet’s latest collection includes dresses, puffer jackets, cropped trousers, and ball skirts, designed with baroque and tapestry prints. At New York Fashion Week, the new collection was presented by models wearing the clothes, standing within what can best be described as ornate production set pieces, as if they were preparing to film a scene for a movie.

Alice and Olivia

One scene saw female models standing in a forest, dressed in black faux-leather and glitter green skirts, in a camo print. Another had models in both a lounge and bedroom, wearing autumn gold outfits in contrast with the scene’s ruby red walls. Others sat near travel luggage, wearing pastel pink, while some were on the set of a high-speed train, wearing printed midi-dresses and black combat boots.

Regarding the collection, Bendet said she took artistic cues from her own experiences renovating an apartment in the famed Dakota residence in New York City. Each scene, like each room, gave the audience the ability to move throughout worlds; throughout time periods; throughout a renaissance.

“What’s old is right again,” Bendet said in a press release. “We ought to take time to appreciate the beauty of what’s here, and make it new.”

Alice and Olivia

Bendet also presented a few items which were codesigned with Zero Waste Daniel, a clothing line known for its commitment to producing fashion with no waste. Silverstein, founder of the line, is one of many social entrepreneurs hoping to help curb fashion’s rampant problem.

For the collaboration, Zero Waste Daniel took the excess fabric fom the Fall 2020 collection and created embroidery designs for existing Alice + Olivia pieces. Excess fabric in fashion is usually discarded and thrown into landfills, so by reusing old pieces, Alice + Olivia was able to reduce the amount of waste the collection otherwise would have produced.

Alice + Olivia is just the latest luxury brand – following Stella McCartney, Gucci, and Gabriela Hearst – to pivot towards more eco-conscious and eco-friendly fashion. By and large, high-end brands are becoming more aware of the negative impact clothing production can have on the environment. At the Future of Fashion sustainability panel in 2016, Vogue reported that 150 billion new pieces of clothing are produced each year, with 2.5 billion pounds of used clothing ending up in landfills annually. Fashion produces 2.1 million tons of Co2 emissions, second only to the petroleum industry, according to the same panel.