With the closing of Paris Fashion Week, tomorrow marks the end of the Fall/Winter fashion week cycle. As is typical in the fashion industry, these shows rarely reference the unsustainable and often unethical nature of modern fashion production. However, last week’s Chloé show managed to bring attention to climate change. Taking a different approach, Gabriela Hearst, creative director of Chloé, decided to exhibit ‘climate optimism’. 

Instead of the alarming images often described in climate talks, she presented garments with contrasting sides. Thriving polar bears were set behind images of melting icebergs, while lush green and blue landscapes were contrasted against firelit skies. With fashion showing both sides of our potential future, Hearst wanted to introduce a more optimistic narrative. Backing women’s voices in both fashion and climate change, Hearst got her inspiration for the collection from Isabella Tree. Through their discussions, Hearst realized the importance of a balanced and motivational approach to climate change that incorporated elements of optimism.  

However, Hearst doesn’t stop at beautiful pieces. She has also been a leader of more sustainable practices in the fashion industry. Before joining Chloé, she launched her own line and presented the first carbon neutral runway show. Hearst has also promoted practices such as utilizing leftover textiles in designs, a practice that has now been adopted in the mainstream. On top of these initiatives, she continues to push for innovative ways of improving the humanitarian and environmental impact of the fashion industry on the world.