“I Care a Lotta; I Wear Collina Strada”: A Highlight on this NYFW Eco-Conscious Designer
By Haven Hathaway
Fashion month is in full bloom, with Copenhagen and New York Fashion Week having just passed and Milan and Paris Fashion Week soon underway. We have been following our favorite designers to see what collections and concepts they bring to the table for the Autumn/Winter 2023 season. More importantly, we are following up with the designers making headlines with both their runway shows and their efforts and commitments to more eco-conscious fashion.
You have probably already scrolled past the runway photos of this designer on Instagram or TikTok as it definitely made a roar (quite literally) with its NYFW A/W 2023 collection titled, “Please Don’t Eat My Friends.” However, this NYFW isn’t the first time we are buzzing about Collina Strada, as it is a designer brand committing to its environmentally responsible efforts.
Models of all ages, sizes, and physical abilities walked, hopped, and crawled down the runway in clothes that somehow made dressing like an animal feel fantastical yet completely wearable. The models walking the runway, or shall we call it a catwalk, were dripped down in prosthetic animal heads, nature-like props, high-fashion sunny-punk style, and one model even carrying Creative Director Hillary Taymour's pet Pomeranian, Powwie.
The internet became divided as some fashion critics believed this was an absurd nightmare while others thought it truly captured what it meant to be “camp” in fashion. Even though not everyone is up for embracing the animal kingdom, we can appreciate that this show brought more focus to a designer combating some environmental challenges with fashion and clothing production.
However, Taymour doesn’t like to call her brand sustainable. GQ highlighted that she said, ‘“We’re taking as many steps [as we can] for a small business without jeopardizing our design integrity.”’
Collina Strada has continued to use eco-friendly and biodegradable fabrics like Rose Sylk, along with regularly sourcing materials from deadstock fabric and recycled cotton. They also partner with The Or Foundation, which “supports their goal to catalyze a justice-led circular textiles economy” with communities like Accra, Ghana.
In GQ, it said, “15 million items of secondhand clothing arrive in Ghana weekly, Taymour explained, with 40% of those pieces becoming waste that sits open on the ground.” Collina Strada recognizes that communities like Accra have been cleaning up the fashion mess for decades now, and it's about time designers with a platform can help them with their cause.
There is always a recurring theme of transparency with eco-conscious designers. Taymour recognizes that there is a lack of legislation currently allowing any brand to call itself “sustainable,” so she chooses not to throw that word around loosely as a designer. Instead, she decides to be openly transparent about what her brand is doing to become more eco-friendly while recognizing that challenges still need solutions.
A brand that celebrates the fun and daring sides to the clothes we wear while choosing to produce fashion responsibly and promote a space of diversity and inclusion is a brand we are excited to continue to thrive and grow.
Collina Strada took their fashion values one step further this February by telling a story through nature that genuinely embraced the sustainable journey in colorful high fashion fun.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style
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