Matthew Williams - when subculture leads the change

Photo:  British Vogue

Often when discussing sustainable fashion many people reject the whole idea of fashion being sustainable. The industry is associated with rapid change where new collections are launched before the previous ones even touched the customers skin. Luxury fashion brands and designers are often portrayed as the devil causing the hype of over-consumption. The last few years things have started to change. Suddenly, the ones being blamed are the ones leading the transition and innovation towards a more sustainable industry.

Matthew Williams is one of them. A Californian sub-culture-loving-designer (born in Chicago) that has his success proven by the work he’s done with stars such as Lady Gaga and Kanye West. When it was time to launch his own brand in 2015 he had done his homework when it came to sustainability. By digging into supply chains and exploring fabrics he kept on pushing his production team to find sustainable solutions. According to British Vouge he says:

We’re just fortunate that we’re getting to explore sustainability in this way: simply as an additional pillar of what we do
— Matthew Williams in British Vogue August 2019

The brand Alyx Code of Ethics has a long list of commitments. The brand stands strong against any kind of child or forced labour, sexual harassment, discrimination and so on. Further, the work conditions and the health of anyone being involved in relation to their safety system is a priority. The clothes are made from recycled cotton rich yarn and fishing nets. Waterless dyeing is implemented and packaging biodegradable. It seems like Matthew and his team takes a holistic approach and according to Vogue his family even moved to Italy to stay close to his factories.

It seems like the designer truly wants to create something that respects the planet and the processes in which clothes are created. I hope more designers are following his example. Another of his quotes might explain it better. :

I believe that there are too many clothes on this Earth. If I am going to take the responsibility of making clothing, I need to make something that deserves to exist
— Matthew Williams in GQ Style 2017.