Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, awarded the acclaimed young designer.

Bethany Williams has received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II award – a prize that recognises young designers making a difference to society – for her designs.

The British menswear designer was awarded for her ethical approach to fashion at a time when the industry has come under criticism in a recent parliamentary report.

"It's such a surreal experience," Williams said in an interview after her show. "It’s been really amazing and a bit scary."

Since graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2016, Williams has built her business with a singular focus on social and environmental concerns.

Her clothing line is manufactured using sustainable materials in partnership with charities that support social change. 

On Tuesday in London, Williams sent models down the runway in recycled fabrics made by an Italian rehabilitation program that teaches people with drug dependencies traditional crafts.

Denim garments were sourced from a recycling and sorting facility before being upcycled into new pieces, while Williams’ mother helped hand knit oversized jumpers and loose-fitting pants from renewable, biodegradable and deadstock yarns from Wool and the Gang.

The collection was produced in collaboration with Adelaide House, a women’s shelter in Liverpool, which will receive 20% of the profits from sales.

The recognition of Williams' commitment to sustainable fashion comes at a time when the industry as a whole is grappling with how to tackle its environmental and social failings.

A UK parliamentary report published Tuesday castigated the industry as "unsustainable" and "exploitative" and called for taxes on clothes and tougher regulation to encourage better behaviour.

Heralding the importance of activism at London Fashion Week, Vivienne Westwood sent models down the runway dressed in statement clothing and speaking about a number of allocated issues including climate change and gender equality. 

The theme of the show – ‘Homo Loquax’ – refers to American novelist Thomas Wolfe who describes how he prefers to call humans Homo loquax instead of Homo sapiens – which means "man talking" compared to "man reasoning".

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