“Just because the fabrics are ethical and sustainable doesn’t mean that they can’t be beautiful, and luxurious, and a beautiful quality,” said 23-year-old New Zealand-based talent Maggie Marilyn of designing with the environment in mind. Although it has its challenges, Marilyn, whose debut Resort collection has been picked up by Net-A-Porter and dropped today, finds this approach worthwhile. “I could never feel comfortable with having a business that only really benefitted the business and the consumer. It has to benefit everyone involved in the supply chain.”
Through research, Marilyn has found a cotton grower and manufacturer in Turkey that recycles the water it uses from the cotton dying process to then water its crops (an otherwise highly wasteful system in fashion). Meanwhile, her silks come from a company that pays weavers a proper living wage, and only harvests silk after the caterpillars have turned into moths, rather than killing them.
“You can’t just go to the fabric merchant and just choose a fabric that you fall in love with,” she says, noting how difficult it is to trace a fabric’s origin. “I guess it is limiting, but it’s also what excites me, and I enjoy learning about where the fabrics come from.”