Green stuff: the fashion pieces scoring sustainable styling points
Fashion’s polluting impact on the environment has never been more in mainstream consciousness. From its unsustainable manufacturing methods to its wastage of plastics into our seas, the textile industry is in the throes of coming to terms with its status as an unenvironmentally friendly repeat offender. As brand’s consider the sustainable status of their supply chains and sync their environmental efforts with their production methods, we’ve zoomed in on some of the sustainable brands, projects and pieces getting the Wallpaper* green light, from accessories crafted from upcycled trainers, to sunglasses made from marine debris…
‘Carcel’, the Danish fashion brand operating in both Denmark and Peru, is Spanish for ‘Prison’. Far from a coincidence, the label relies on an unconventional partnership: Carcel’s Danish designs are hand-made by incarcerated women in Cusco, Peru. Louise van Hauen and Veronica D’Souza, the founders of Carcel, believe that sustainable fashion can play a role in ensuring imprisoned women are given fair wages (they pay their salaries directly) and the opportunity to learn new skills.
With products made of 100 per cent locally sourced baby Alpaca Wool, Carcel offers sustainable products that are functional, delicate and soft. The fashion brand has launched a batch of limited styles at NET-A-PORTER, placing focus on their ethical foundations: fair wages, local materials, and protecting the planet.
To eliminate waste, Carcel avoids stock by producing limited batches of styles, launching them one at time. The fashion brand, whose products each carry the name of the woman who made them, makes no compromises. Even as they grow, Carcel takes pride in the power of ‘slow fashion,’ and its role in promoting and protecting design, planet and people.
Outspoken and provocative, designer Katharine Hamnett is renowned for using fashion as a response to the socio-political and environmental issues. Hamnett’s legendary slogan t-shirts have challenged many cultural shifts, such as ‘58% Don’t Want Pershing’, ‘Clean Up Or Die’ and ‘Save The Future’.
Hamnett relaunched her brand in 2017, and in a fabric-focused protest against fast fashion and unsustainable manufacturing methods, its most recent collection uses organic or recycled fabrics, and has a military-inspired aesthetic. This A/W 2018 Will Parker, designed in collaboration with Italian jacket label Duvetica, is a 1982 re-issued shape, that is made from 100 per cent recycled polyester and down.
Parley for the Oceans, the Cyrill Gutsch-founded platform designed to raise awareness around the fragility of our oceans, has already got a glowing track record when it comes to sustainable fashion projects; the company has partnered with both Stella McCartney and Adidas on trainers made from ocean plastic. Now, it has teamed up with Corona to create a fundraising platform named ‘Clean Waves’, which will culminate in a series of interdisciplinary projects aiming to fight aginst plastic marine pollution.
We’ve got eyes for its first offering – a limited-edition run of sunglasses, created from upcycled Parley Ocean Plastic. Each mirrored lens style features individual graphic coordinates connecting each pair to a specific slice of oceanic paradise affected by marine pollution. The styles are available in white or with coral and sand-inspired mottled frames, and for every 100 pairs sold, Corona and Parley for the Oceans will expand their commitment and protect one more island against marine plastic pollution for one year.
Former Dries Van Noten menswear designer Spencer Phipps launched his eponymous menswear line during A/W 2018’s Paris Fashion Week. The American Parsons School of Design graduate, showcased a relaxed collection in rusty retro tones, including cropped cagoules, ribbed knitwear, cargo trousers and slouchy shorts, paired with pendants and beanie hats, that sung of a surfs up-inspired lifestyle. Phipps is dedicated to ethical and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes from the get go: for A/W 2018, the designer experimented with organic cottons, recycled nylons and undyed Mongolian yak hair.
Burgeoning South Korea-based accessories designer Jinah Jung was keen to design ‘useful items with abandoned materials’ when she was put in contact with the global creative director of Le Coq Sportif Frédéric Pertusier. Supplied with ten boxes of incomplete factory cast offs, Jung set to work creating backpacks, holdalls and cross body bags constructed from a patchwork of uppers, insoles, shoelaces and tags. The result is a unique and kaleidoscopic approach to upcyling, where trainers become textile swatches themselves. ‘I was inspired by artist Brian Jungen’s Nike Air Jordan shoe sculptures,’ Jung says. ‘It was such a fun process to reconstruct the shoes as bags, and to play with colours and materials like a puzzle.’