Wednesday, December 7, 2022

CFDA Spotlights Sustainability With Awards to Emily Adams Bode and Patagonia

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Sustainability earned Emily Adams Bode her second straight CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year title, and longtime eco outerwear brand Patagonia took home the Environmental Sustainability Award.

For the second straight year, sustainable fashion designer Emily Adams Bode has won the Council of Fashion Designers of America Menswear Designer of the year.

At just 32, Emily Adams Bode has already made a name for herself as an innovator in sustainable men’s fashion. She relies heavily on deadstock, antique fabrics, Victorian quilts, and bed linens in her upcycled designs. And the Council of Fashion Designers is eating it up.

Adams Bode clinched the same victory last year—a move signaling to the industry that sustainable fashion is not just on-trend, it’s here to stay.

“It starts with the fact that sustainability doesn’t mean what you think it means,” she told Elle last year. “People love using that word, but look: sustainability doesn’t mean you’re making new clothes out of new fabric, even if that fabric is easier on the environment. If you’re over-producing clothes you can’t sell, even if they’re made from eco-friendly fabrics, then guess what? It’s not sustainable! And maybe you’re not even looking towards the communities you affect with your production. Maybe the fabric is sustainable but the way you treat people or the way you run your facility is toxic. And I know it’s complex. I know we still have to sell things.”

Built on bespoke designs, the label is also focused on unisex offerings as well as size inclusivity.

“We have a huge size range, over 20 sizes really,” she says. “And the funny thing is, my mentors and teachers would have been so against that.

“We make larger and smaller sizes because larger and smaller people buy our clothes. Because we’re a made-to-order business, we only have to make what we know we’re selling,” she says.

Even as the brand has seen demand increasing in recent years, Adams Bode says she’s still prioritizing deadstock and vintage fabrics over new materials whenever possible.

“So much of the brand, to me, is creating heirloom garments and preserving these histories and techniques that otherwise would be lost forever.” she says.

“To have a really clear view of where your materials are coming from and transparency on that, that’s sustainable.”

CDFA also awarded outerwear giant Patagonia with its Environmental Sustainability Award. The award was accepted by Rebecca Goodstein, Patagonia’s environmental and community programs manager for North America, who wore a Reformation dress to accept the award.

“This is a really fun departure for me,” Goodstein told The Cut ahead of the ceremony. “I really believe in reusing and repeating outfits,” she said.

“It speaks to how I try to dress in general,” Goodstein said. “I always want to buy high-quality, durable, well-designed pieces — and wear them forever.” 

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