It’s amazing to think that February 2009 marked the sixth season of London Fashion Week’s estethica showcase of ethical fashion. The initiative of the British Fashion Council (BFC) has become one of the hottest invites in town, and the enthusiasm perhaps mirrors the public’s current fascination with all things green and eco stylish. Some of our favorite designers exhibited at esthetica this past week – Ada Zanditon, Beyond Skin, Del Forte Denim, Elena Garcia, From Somewhere, Izzy Lane, Junky Styling, Marc Lui, NOIR, and Veja – to name a few. Eco fashion is edging its way into the lexicon of fashion forwardness in ways that are becoming truly synonymous with chic, timeless style. The folks at BFC and estethica are definitely working hard to insure that each season’s runways and the lifecycle of our clothes extend a long way into the future.

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We have featured many of the estethica designers in our sustainable style column over the past few years, and we could not be more excited that these fashion mavericks are getting the genuine praise that they so deserve. estethica, sponsored by Monsoon, has now close to tripled its roster of participants, from 13 designers in the first season to 37 in 2009 (this includes 15 new labels for Spring/Summer 2009 alone).

The exhibit’s curation is impressively selective, as all estethica designers must adhere to at least one of the show’s principles of fairtrade, organic, and/or recycled materials, as well as demonstrating company ethics and a sound design agenda. The fashion week event is also a great way for like-minded companies to show their support for one another and collaborate in ways that promote the ethical/eco fashion message. This year Elena Garcia of the Conscious Designers Collective joined forces with eight other designers to create a Roving Ethical Catwalk (REC) where eco-clad models arrived in Green Tomato Cars and paraded ethical designer fashions outside of the Natural History Museum.

Also on the scene in London were eco activist/model/spokesperson, Summer Rayne Oakes, promoting her new book, Style, Naturally as well as eco fashion retail entrepreneur, Kate McGregor of Kaight Shop. (Be sure to check out Kate’s new blog for great coverage of some of her favorite picks from the week, including her interview with Inhabitst favorite, Ting). The Brits were also all abuzz with Lord Hunt, Britain’s Minister for Sustainable Development & Energy’s announcement of the DEFRA Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. In an all out effort to reduce and eliminate ‘bin-throw away culture’, the government is dipping its toes in high street fashion and supporting measures for waste reduction in the industry via a consortium of 300 organizations committed to altering the way that fashion houses do business.

estethica is co-curated by Orsola de Castro, founder of green label From Somewhere, Filippo Ricci and The British Fashion Council.

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Estethica, London Fashion Week, British Fashion Council, UK eco fashion, ethical fashion, London sustainable style, Ada Zanditon, Summer Rayne Oakes, Junky Styling, NOIR, NOIR London Fashion Week, From Somewhere, Elena Garcia, Conscious Designers Collective, Roving Ethical Catwalk, DAFRA Super cute Minna separates at estethica