What is recycled fashion? In a world where environmental degradation is becoming an increasingly pressing issue, it’s time to relook our resource consumption and manufacturing processes. Instead of thinking about what we can get, maybe it’s time to consider what we already have. That’s right, we’re looking at products created from waste by-products or excess materials. They may sound outlandish in their descriptions, but it is interesting how these waste materials can be made wearable!
adidas X Parley for the Oceans
Now this is interesting. How do the plastic scraps in our ocean— dirty, used, waste bottles, straws, films, and the list goes on— become sleek, top-tier adidas shoes? Well, let’s take a look at Parley Ocean Plastic, by Parley For The Oceans, which addresses the huge human threat to our oceans.
Parley Ocean Plastic is created from upcycled marine waste, intercepted from coastal communities and beaches. By redesigning and repurposing plastic, the oceans are kept cleaner and waste is given a new lease of life.
The adidas X Parley for the Oceans trainers come in four styles, with uppers composed of the Ocean Plastic material. Each pair has a NFC chip in its heel that when scanned reveals the story of each shoe from plastic waste to final product.
adidas X Parley, $220 to $260, available on adidas.com.sg.
The TUMI Recycled Capsule collection first debuted in Fall 2018, after the recycled materials in consideration met the brand’s rigorous standards of quality, marking a breakthrough in engineering. This time, the second edition of the Recycled Capsule features four items made with 70% recycled material and 100% quality.
The Sheppard Deluxe is an everyday dream with a host of interior and exterior pockets of different sizes, for organisational use. There are also specific compartments for a laptop and iPad amongst other things. It also has a back pocket and a magnetic snap closure for ease of access. The Kelley Sling is a small, on-the-go piece with a main compartment that can be opened from the front or the side, as well as a hidden back pocket for essentials.
The London Roll Top is great for travel, with a spacious, boxy fit and padded straps for comfortable wear. It also has a waterproof lined U-Zip front pocket to keep essentials dry and safe. For something for school or work, you might want to consider the Nellis Backpack, with a tall main compartment and laptop and tablet spaces. Like the Sheppard, it has lots of organisational compartments.
The Tumi Recycled Capsule series, $450 to $790, available at all TUMI retail stores and online at TUMI.sg.
Freitag is a brand that primarily makes functional, durable bags from recycled tarp. Tarp? Yes. Weathered tarp right off the sides of vans.
On their website, Claudia, from their team of truck-spotters, speaks passionately of finding and collecting tarps. There really is beauty in everything, you just have to look! The tarps are collected in a variety in ways, from spotted off the street to sourced from suppliers. Needless to say, the colour and design of each Freitag bag thus depends on what tarps are available, making each one truly unique.
The tarps go through a five-step process including cutting, washing and designing, before they become unique Freitag bags and accessories. You can read more about the process and the lovely employees behind the operation here.
It is definitely untrue that the newer the better, and Freitag really drives this home by creating something amazing from something at the end of its line. Such creativity going into sustainable effort is to be applauded.
Freitag bags and accessories available at local Actually outlets. freitag.com
For H&M Conscious’ Spring 2019 collection, they created their nature-inspired collection with a variety of new, interesting materials. This included Piñatex®, a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves, BLOOM™ Foam, a plant-based flexible foam using algae biomass, and Orange Fiber®, sustainable silk-like fabrics made from citrus juice by-products. You can read more about it at the full NYLON blog post here.
H&M Conscious Exclusive Spring 2019, $74.95 to $399, available at H&M Orchard Building and online at hm.com.
Plastic is a huge, huge issue. So the more ways they can be remade, the better. Introducing: August Society, which creates functional and chic swimwear from waste plastic, such as fishnets and carpeting.
This diagram from their site gives a succinct summary of their production process. In addition to using waste plastic as their raw material, they also use digital printing to get their custom designs from screen to suit, which reduces ink and dye usage.
Additionally, a huge part of their philosophy is that their swimsuits should be made to last. They operate antithetically to the fast fashion model of constant new seasons, new collections, new clothes, choosing to invest in high-quality material built to be durable and lasting, so buyers need just that one piece for a long, long time. August Society swimwear contains XtraLife Lycra® to help retain their shape, and are ultra chlorine resistant, sun cream and oil resistant and have excellent UV protection. One is all you need!
It doesn’t end there! We were so happy to read that August Society is aware of ethical considerations in their production, citing the 2013 Rana Plaza tragedy where a factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,000 people and injuring 2,500. Their manufacturing takes place in Bali, Indonesia, where workers are paid twice over the legal minimum wage, team members have been working with them for over ten years, and all employees and their families are covered by medical insurance! Commitment to ethical welfare is definitely something we can applaud.
August Society swimswear, available at augustsociety.com.