As another New York Fashion Week becomes a memory what remains in its wake is the fact that the fashion industry is, by some estimates, the second most polluting industry on the planet. I mean, do we really all need new clothes every season? But on the last day of NYFW LIVARI made its debut. A collaboration between environmental and feminist activist Alysia Reiner (award winning actress from Orange is the New Black), Claudine DeSola (celebrity stylist and founder of Caravan Stylist Studio) and Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs (designer of Tabii Just and Women’s March organizer), LIVARI is a zero waste, women-led, women-designed collection ethically made in New York.
The collection was born from community discussion and feedback from a diverse group of women from a range of industries – from teachers to business professionals, doctors to designers, and retirees to young moms. Armed with the understanding that above all else, women want comfortable and beautiful clothing that they can feel good wearing and feel good buying, the LIVARI team set out to create a collection that is thoughtful and intentional from sourcing to sales. “Manufacturing a typical garment produces an egregious amount of waste –up to 15% of the fabric used to make a garment is tossed out and can end up in landfills”, said LIVARI founders Reiner, DeSola and St. Bernard-Jacobs. “By using the remnants from mills and sourcing other unique and ethical materials, we’re able to create something beautiful out of what would normally be discarded as waste.”
To realize their vision, the team recruited top textile suppliers to provide luxurious fabrics with purpose. Fish leather, an ethical alternative to traditional leather, biodegradable Bemberg material, hand-dyed silk and sueded cotton using rust for color and remnant fabrics were gathered and woven by hand. Further reinforcing their commitment to creating a premium fashion brand with low environmental impact, LIVARI engaged carbon reduction organization Cool Effect to help the line achieve net zero emissions.
Lending their celebrity to the cause were fellow actresses Nichole Galicia (Django Unchained) and Christiane Seidel (Boardwalk Empire) modeled in the show and a number of Alysia’s OITNB co-stars attended. Maybe next season we will see a fashion week that starts with the idea of sustainable clothes and not end with it.
For more information on LIVARI, please check out their official website.