Sustainability in fashion seems to run on a spectrum between greenwashing and total transparency. Thankfully, at Armani, the emphasis is very much on the latter end. Its approach to sustainability isn’t something new, but has been on the brand’s agenda for years — just take a look at its dedicated “social responsibility” blueprint on its website. Now, the brand is taking it a step further. At the heart of Emporio Armani’s latest sustainable capsule collection lies an imaginary forest and woodland that is abundant with beauty and regeneration. Taking cues from that setting, the brand present a collection that is natural in its design aesthetic and natural in its make-up, offering itself as an example of mindful creativity.
The brand’s latest capsule marks a new milestone in the brand’s sustainability efforts. The range outlines Armani’s green philosophy from its fabric sourcing to its quality construction, harnessing its on-going commitment to responsible fashion. Considering the source of each component, the garments and accessories that feature throughout the Fall/Winter 2021 capsule are constructed using recycled or organic materials only. Take the staple chunky jumper in both the mens and women’s line, where Armani opt for a regenerated wool rather than standard sheep wool, or the Renycle® nylon crepe and purely bio-based Sorona® yarn that can be found on the puffer jackets. The majority of fabric choices are, and have been for some time, sourced from Italy reducing each garment’s carbon footprint. In a statement, the brand said these choices “help reduce the consumption of energy and water,” tackling one of the fashion industry’s most prevalent problems.
Material processes don’t stop there. Certain fabrics in the collection are also given special treatments. Wools are applied with a windproof membrane, and waterproof layers are added to a range of jackets, hats and bags. In addition to bringing practicality to the items, the treatments add extended longevity to their lifespan. Other treatments in the collection are added for aesthetic purposes, chiming in on the brand’s luxury design. A yarn-dyed memory fabric is printed with a camouflage pattern and is incorporated across the whole collection. Not only does it bring a fall-appropriate palette of earthy greens and browns to the range, but it also ties the “imaginary forest” theme subtly into every look. Besides the fabrics, Armani finds its most sustainable practice in the timeless garment design that it has promoted over its lifespan. As fast fashion and trend-driven culture sadly grows more widespread, Armani pushes a great importance on classic products that are quality made. In a release, the brand said, “We need to look at how well we design products to last [in terms of aesthetics as well as quality].”
Swapping less practical heels for boots and blazers for anoraks, the collection sees an evolution in the brand’s overarching aesthetic moving toward contemporary yet functional design. Dresses in the women’s line take on hoods and full-length zips that allow them to be worn as jackets, while a cleverly designed high neck knit provides warmth and the ability to be layered, as it emits the bulky front and back panels. Accessories are also given a more practical edge, with bags, including a backpack that also works as a waist belt, becoming multi-functional. Armani’s fastidious attention to the collection is reflected in the transparency of the manufacturing of its clothing. On each label, the brand includes a QR code that allows wearers to explore the journey of that garment. Though it’s a small touch, it’s part of the steps that the brand is taking to encourage customers to be conscious of their choices, by giving them all the information they need on a product. Concluding its sustainable positioning, Armani underlines that it is this “re-education” that is needed so that “consumers understand that if we are to make things more responsibly, then they too need to consume in a more mindful way.”