Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Mrs Clegg swaps the corridors of power for the fashion runway

she is more usually associated with all things yellow but Miriam González Durántez turned green yesterday as she helped launch an ethical clothing range on the eve of London Fashion Week.

The right-on Spanish lawyer and wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg pledged her support to Ecoluxe, a collective of designers who work with fair-trade and sustainable materials, including fish leather and organic cotton, to produce luxurious clothing and accessories that don't cost the earth.

Ms González Durántez has eco-fashion form, having been spotted during the election campaign toting a handbag made from recycled ring-pulls.

At the launch yesterday, Ms González Durántez wore a green dress by designer David Szeto – a piece which also featured in her campaign wardrobe, as if to hammer home the sustainability message. "Even handing clothes down can stop things going into landfill," she said. "Every little gesture counts."

It's reassuring to know that these days even the women in the corridors of power are currently "shopping their closets", as the press term wearing a garment more than once.

"We want to make clothes that people will keep for generations, not just throw away in six months" said designer Stamo Garcia, who is working with the Deputy Prime Minister's wife.

Ms González Durántez , who usually avoids the media circus that follows politicians' wives, preferring to be known for her work as an international trade lawyer, is in good company in fashion's green camp.

Actor Colin Firth and his wife Livia last year launched an eco-fashion pop-up shop to promote ethical fashion on the high street, and Ali Hewson, Mrs Bono, set up her ethical range, Edun, in 2005.

Green fashion has become a prominent part of the industry, as shoppers increasingly reject fast fashion.

London Fashion Week, which starts today, features an "Estethica arena" dedicated to promoting eco-friendly and fair-trade designers. There will also be a "Sustainable Show" this afternoon, in which the best of UK green fashion will appear on the catwalk.

"I think it's fantastic that London is coming out as a centre for sustainable fashion," Ms González Durántez said. "This is a good cause so I was happy to be approached to give my support."

As a figurehead for green fashion, Ms González Durántez is placing herself opposite her counterpart Samantha Cameron, who is a creative consultant for luxury goods label Smythson, where a diary can cost up to £300. Their husbands may have got into bed with each other, but it seems creative differences still separates their wives.

Asked if Ms González Durántez planned to lend a green eye to her husband's collection of blue suits and yellow ties, the lawyer suggested Mr Clegg would remain the master of his own wardrobe.