Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. Young labels bet on overall “eco” concepts, while established brands try to go green gradually. The paths to get there vary from recycling over re-using rejects over to find whole new materials for the production.
Only thing shared is the goal: making a change in times of fast fashion.
In their 4-year “Tree of Life” project, surf brand O’Neill has developed a palm leather in cooperation with material design studio Tjeerd Veenhoven.
Made from leaves of the South Indian Areca palm tree, which loses those leaves in millions every year, the plant leather is not only meant to help the environment, but also the people living in South India. The hired Indian workers gain money for each leaf they gather.
Two footwear styles will be produced of the material; a flip flop called “Chelsea”, and a sandal with crossed straps called “Sophie”. For a higher comfort and more stability the leaves are supported by suede. As the shoes are made from a natural product, each pair has a unique colorway.
Young Italian bag company Ziza produces in Italy only to reduce delivery distances and strengthen Italian craftsmanship. In addition, the brand has decided on a special material – similar to the one O’Neill used. They process pineapple leaves for some of their first collection’s bags which look similar to real leather, but beneficially are vegan, organic and sustainable.
“Reuse, Reinvent, Revive” is the motto of a new slow couture collection by Anne Bernecker. The designer creates limited items far from mass production through uniting vintage garments with handmade couture embroideries. 3 special jackets have emerged from this work with the total omission of new production and waste.
Accessory company Fond of Bags who attaches high importance to sustainability ranks 7 brands in their portfolio. The latest joining label, Offermann, recently changed its tannery from India to Germany, to shorten transportation routes and to have an impact on the origin and production of the leather goods.
H&M owned urbanwear chainstore Weekday bets on utilizing rest material for their latest capsule collection “Remains”. It is the first part of a long-term concept for a better circularity and thus more sustainability in the company. The capsule of this term includes recycled denim products only, while in the future Weekday plans on adding a recycled jersey and knit line. The current collection includes 5 items, as well as a denim patchwork blanket made from the excess from the collection itself.
Also part of the H&M Group, & other stories leads a recycling program for textiles and beauty packages that expanded to Germany on the 12th of July. The products (brand and condition do not matter) can be taken back to the stores and & other stories then forwards them to their recycling partners for further processing. In exchange, customers receive a 10% thank-you giftcard.
PrimaLoft, functional textile supplier, and green sportswear brand Picture Organic Clothing have decided on a joint project to also utilize rest material.
Picture Organic Clothing’s sleeping bags are made from recycled polyester from PrimaLoft’s rejects and have been designed for a high wearability so they don’t only serve as bedding, but as well as a functional warmth dispenser outside of the tent. A zipper on the foot part and a train system for varying the length even allow walking in it.
The number of pieces will be limited due to the available residual material of the past winter production of PrimaLoft.
In extension of their environmental commitment, PrimaLoft also produced an isolation made of 55% recycled material for outdoor brand Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket collection. The isolation material will be available for other brands’ productions from Fall’17.
Jan ‘N June, Hamburg-based label founded in 2014, is a good example for a young brand going all the way for sustainability. Recycling, organic cotton and Co2-neutrality are the key words. Their joint collection “DFC X JNJ. Curated Circularity – designed for Infinity” with Design for Circularity even takes it to the next level by using only recyclable and compostable material so there won’t be any waste and in the future, there even won’t be a need for new resources anymore.
Whether it is an established brand starting to produce with new sustainable or recycled materials like O’Neill, Weekday and PrimaLoft, or a younger brand with a green vision like Ziza or Jan ‘N June: sustainability in the industry is growing with its demand. Each effort made in the right direction takes us a step further away from fast fashion and unhealthy short-term thinking when it comes to fashion.