One of the best ways for a brand to cut down on waste before they even start cutting and sewing is to source vintage fabrics. Because it’s already been made (and hopefully used) there isn’t any carbon production that goes into the making of the new material. There is so much fabric waste that ends up in the landfill taking hundreds of years to decompose. Americans throw away on average 14 million pounds of textiles every year, and that’s not even counting the fabric that doesn’t make it into a store. Eco Watch estimates that one truckload of fabric is wasted PER SECOND. This post highlights brands that I found while researching my Matches Fashion Guide who are combating this problem just by using old fabric.
By Walid is run by the former Creative Director of Joseph, Walid al Damirji. He describes his clothing as, “clothes that speak of craft, of history and of quality. It is the kind of luxury that sometimes money cannot buy.” His designs are all made from meticulously handpicked vintage fabrics like 19th centuries silks, antique cashmere, and linens from the 1920’s. They are all handcrafted in his London studio. His designs remind me of that elusive antique store find. Something that is soaked in history but still is able to be worn without someone questioning where you got that bustle.
Kaleidoscope patterns and stunning colors fill the blouses from Edeltrud Hoffman. They are made in NYC from deadstock silk and designed by Masayo Kishi. They are the ultimate working woman blouse, that calls back to the 1970’s when women were first entering the workplace.
Utilitarian in style and in sustainability. The name is an anagram for “army” because Myar sources vintage army clothing and gives it new life as unisex workwear. Designed by Andera Rosso, who started reworking his old army t-shirts in his 20’s, Myar pays homage to the origin of the clothing and while breathing a new life into it.
The story behind Rianna + Nina is so cute. Rianna Nektaria and Nina Kuhn met at a vintage furniture fair and instantly connected about their love for all things vintage. They are both based in Berlin and opened their first boutique in 2014. Their clothing is all made from repurposed vintage fabric and handmade in Germany.
Founded by former NYC lawyer Batsheva Hay, this brand started out as a mini project where Batsheva matched her clothing with her daughter’s clothing. The clothes took off because they are super instagrammable but also because Batsheva and her daughter are so freaking cute. They are made in small batches and often use vintage and deadstock fabric in the designs.
The idea behind Kilometre Paris was born with founder Alexandra Senes found some 19th-century linens in a boutique in Paris. Today, the brand is all about encouraging travel. Each piece features a far-flung destination for some travel inspiration that isn’t Instagram. Kilometre Paris works with artisans in Mexico and India who handcraft each piece with vintage linen and their traditional skills.
Recently championed by Meghan Markle, Figue is perfect for the bohemian. The brand is produced in India and Bolivia by artisans. fabrics are when possible recycled and upcycled vintage textiles. Figue also upcycles it’s fabric waste into accessories to minimize waste.
Zazi Vintage is about sustainability and social independence. They make stunning statement coats that are perfect for the coldest days on the calendar. The coats are handcrafted with 1970’s fabric and other organic materials. Zazi Vintage works with artisans in rural communities around the world. They are paid fairly and receive funding for an education.
Noki, is an anonymous artist who has been speaking out against mass consumption for a long time. The collection is a commentary on how we value craftsmanship and the loss of identity in the modern world. The collection is made from vintage fabrics and leftover mass-produced clothing. Every piece is uniquely altered to bring you closer to haute couture.
A brand that doesn’t advertise isn’t sustainability but actually uses recycled and deadstock fabrics. They have an innovative look at materials, using old blankets for their 2015 capes. Eckhaus Latta is also a unisex brand. They produce casual clothing for either gender that combines conceptual design with wearability. The clothes are produced in NYC and LA and the knitwear is made in Peru.