Redress winner launches puffer jacket made of upcycled materials

November 16, 2020 by  
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U.K. designer Maddie Williams has recently launched a sustainable puffer jacket after winning the Redress Design Award 2019, one of the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competitions. Created in collaboration with major Chinese fashion brand JBNY Group, the sustainable puffer jacket is made with a mix of upcycled and recycled materials , including deadstock fabrics for the exterior and recycled polyester for the lining. The jacket now retails in over 100 stores in China. After placing first in the 2019 Redress Design Award, Maddie Williams joined the Hangzhou-headquartered JNBY Group to launch a sustainable garment for its fashion brand ‘less’ to be sold in more than 100 of its stores. The young designer drew on the patchworking technique from her zero-waste Redress Design Award collection, ‘The Mourners’, to create a multicolored puffer jacket stuffed with repurposed duck and goose down collected from post-consumer duvets and pillows. Related: This clothing tech company is 3D-printing garments to help reduce waste “It was an immersive and authentic experience of working in the fashion industry,” Williams said. “With the guidance and translation of the JNBY team I spoke to in-house pattern cutters and knit technicians, did sample fittings, looked through deadstock fabric and picked trims in their giant storerooms. It was a very dynamic and fast-paced place to work; you could request something in the morning and get it back in the afternoon. Being able to do this gave me my first genuine insight of the realities of creating a collection for retail — and it was a unique experience to have been involved in all of the steps.” In collaborating with Williams, JNBY Group has also worked together with Redress, the Hong Kong-based environmental NGO that aims to prevent and transform textile waste in the fashion industry through education and initiatives such as the Redesign Design Award. The Redesign Design Award 2021 will begin accepting applications from emerging designers worldwide on January 8, 2021.  + Redress Design Award Images via Redress

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Redress winner launches puffer jacket made of upcycled materials

Biodegradable childrens shoes come with expiration date

November 6, 2020 by  
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Recent industrial design graduate Shahar Asor is knitting biodegradable children’s shoes out of a sustainable composite material. The shoes are meant to disassemble and disintegrate completely in the wash after a designated time frame to encourage greener fashion choices and limit excessive consumer consumption. Just as we purchase food according to its shelf life, the “Best Before” research project contemplates, “What if we could buy clothes the same way that we buy milk?” “There’s no doubt fashion can have a positive impact on us, it can be our voice and give us the confidence we need, but sometimes we buy new clothes simply because we objectively need to — as in the case of maternity or children’s clothes,” Asor told Inhabitat. “Some of us donate and others recycle but the truth is most of our unclaimed garments found themselves in landfills. So, if a garment is being used for a limited period of time why does it stay on earth for so long? Why not design it with its end of use moment in mind?” Related: Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion Best Before offers a way to accommodate the contradiction between clothes made of long-lasting fabric (some taking between 20 and 200 years to break down, as is the case with synthetic fibers) and the need to change our wardrobe due to lifestyle changes, health or growth spurts. By essentially shifting the concept of an expiration date to the fashion industry, Best Before is sending us on the right track toward sustainable fashion . The shoe fabric is composed of a knit-based composite material designed to dissolve in the washing machine after a certain amount of time. Each shoe is made from one piece of fabric to include a flexible upper portion and a strong sole. Designed in collaboration with Oded Shoseyov, a professor from the Agriculture, Food and Environment Department at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the fabric materials leave no harmful pollutants in the environment after dissembling. This way, buyers can take into account their child’s growth without releasing more unsustainable products into the world and without worrying about what to do with all of those outgrown shoes. + Shahar Asor Photography by Noi Einav & Leean Lani via Shahar Asor

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Biodegradable childrens shoes come with expiration date

The durable Solo New York backpack can accompany all of your adventures

September 28, 2020 by  
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Back in July, Inhabitat introduced readers to the Solo New York brand, a sustainable fashion company making bags out of recycled plastic water bottles. Since then, we have had the opportunity to use the popular Re:vive Mini Backpack ourselves, testing it out on more than a few outdoor adventures. With the environmental tolls of fast fashion becoming more and more apparent, sustainability has certainly become a buzzword in the textile and fashion industries. Solo New York’s recycled fabric production starts with discarded plastic bottles. Through an environmentally friendly process, the plastic bottles are finely shredded and re-spun into durable and lightweight recycled PET polyester yarn. According to Solo New York, this recycled material reduces energy use by 50%, water use by 20% and air pollution by 60%. Related: Each purchase of this bag made from recycled plastic helps plant trees The Re:vive Mini Backpack is just the right size for a day trip. We took one on a hike down to McClures Beach in Point Reyes, California in the height of summer. Despite its seemingly small size, it easily held a small beach towel, a large water bottle, keys, wallet, sunglasses and a tube of sunscreen with room to spare. The short fabric key clip built into the top of the bag helped keep us from digging around in the bottom for keys (always a plus), and the bag itself was so lightweight that it was easy to forget it was even on. When a sandwich mishap produced a small stain on the outside of the backpack , a simple dose of spot-cleaning made it good as new — a great characteristic if you plan on using the backpack in your everyday life. Another feature we noticed was the versatility of the design; the heathered gray material on the outside and the subtle black camo on the inside are just as appropriate for a big city subway or the office as they are for exploring a national park. Apart from aiding our fight against plastic pollution, this backpack also proved itself as a great conversation starter. Once people found out that it was made from recycled plastic bottles , most couldn’t believe that the fabric could be so soft and similar to other popular textiles like cotton or polyester. The sturdiness of the plastic fiber is apparent in its durability as well, so it is easy to tell that the bags are designed to last a long time. The mini backpack measures 14″ x 9″ x 4″ and weighs only 0.57 pounds. Priced at $24.99, it is affordable, too. Along with the aforementioned key clip, there are also adjustable shoulder straps and a front zippered pocket to hold more quick-grab items like cellphones and wallets. According to the company, the first run of the Re:cycled Collection was responsible for recycling more than 90,000 plastic bottles, and the line is still continuing to expand with new bags. As of September 2020, the collection features four backpack versions priced from $24.99 to $64.99, a laptop sleeve, two carry-on-size luggage pieces, a briefcase, a tote and a duffel. Solo New York was founded by John Ax, who arrived to the U.S. in 1940 with his family. They only had $100 and the clothes on their backs. As a skilled craftsman, he began rounding up leather pieces and scraps that were destined for the trash from local tanneries to turn into sellable goods. His small company, which eventually became known as the United States Luggage Company, thrived for decades before rebranding as Solo New York. Today, the company has already set solid, transparent goals to become even more sustainable in the future. The goal is to eliminate plastic from all packaging by the end of 2020. Hang tags are already printed on 100% recycled and biodegradable material with a recycled cotton string and a completely biodegradable clasp. The Solo New York headquarters on Long Island takes advantage of New York’s average of 224 sunny days per year with 1,400 rooftop solar panels (producing enough energy to power 87 homes). Plus, the company has a zero-tolerance plastic water bottle policy for its employees, instead offering filtered smart fountains and water dispensers throughout its locations. Solo New York has also partnered with the United States National Forest Foundation, pledging to help aid in reforestation by planting one tree per every bag purchased from the Re:cycled collection. Customers also have the option of taking the “Green Pledge” and promising to say no to plastic bottles for the following 30 days. For every pledge signed, Solo NY will plant a second tree. Overall, we think any of the bags from this sustainable collection would be a great gift option for the Earth-lover in your life, especially for the upcoming holiday season. Even for someone who hasn’t found their stride in sustainability quite yet, the gift of a Re:cycled Collection bag or backpack is sure to be pretty eye-opening as to how far recycling can really go. Even better, if more people pivot to eco-friendly bags, that means we can help cut down on the number of plastic items being manufactured and distributed globally, leading to fewer toxic chemicals released into the atmosphere, less resources spent and less waste produced overall. + Solo New York Images via Katherine Gallagher / Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Solo New York. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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The durable Solo New York backpack can accompany all of your adventures

The Redress Design Award is making sustainable fashion an industry standard

September 23, 2020 by  
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Who doesn’t love a good fashion contest? Competition has always been a great way to introduce new styles to the world and for new designers to show off their skills. The Redress Design Award is using competition to shine a spotlight on sustainable fashion and make eco-friendly style something that all designers strive to achieve. Redress is the biggest sustainable fashion design competition in the entire world, an event that helps to create and motivate the best and brightest eco-friendly designers in the industry. Through events like this, Redress hopes to raise awareness about the waste crisis happening in fashion. Related: Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion Redress founder Christina Dean says that the crisis “can’t be swept under the carpet any longer.” Redress saw COVID-19 as an opportunity to bring more attention to the concept of the circular economy as it applies to the fashion industry. With so many issues with transporting supplies and manufacturing during the panemic, Redress took the chance to stress the importance of using all materials and wasting nothing. The circular economy is all about reducing and repurposing in order to eliminate waste. It’s the eco-friendly version of that classic style sentiment, “Less is more.” The Redress Design Award isn’t just a thrilling fashion design competition. This is also an event that is designed to educate up-and-coming designers about sustainable fashion. The 2020 Redress Design Award wrapped with two winners. Menswear designer Le Ngoc Ha Thu of Vietnam created designs that stood out among hundreds of entries from 48 countries. Thu said the competition was “a nourishing and beneficial experience.” Thu will collaborate with VF Corporation’s Timberland to learn more about creating sustainable fashion. Juliana Garcia Bello of Argentina won the womenswear design award. “I have learned so much during my participation in the Redress Design Award and have definitely come out of this with a reinforce feeling that collaboration is the key,” Bello said. “We designers need to share our strengths and be inspired by each other.” Bello will work alongside The R Collective, an award-winning brand focused on upcycling . These two are the 10th winners of the award after being chosen from 10 finalists from 10 regions. The contestants completed a series of design and business challenges that were focused on real-life sustainability. This year’s competition also focused on COVID-19 waste. Redress focuses on designs that are made for low waste and recyclability using low-impact processes and materials. Redress also publishes a magazine that highlights sustainable fashion and all of the designers who compete for the coveted Redress Design Award. It’s contests like these that will help make sustainable fashion the industry standard rather than the exception. + Redress Images via Redress

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The Redress Design Award is making sustainable fashion an industry standard

Garden House brings nature back to the city

September 23, 2020 by  
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As urban areas grow around the world, housing seems to get farther and farther from nature, turning cities into concrete jungles lacking in greenery. This is not only less than ideal for humans, but it is hard on the planet as well. The team at Christos Pavlou Architecture addressed this issue with the Garden House, a nearly 2,000-square-foot home complete with nature elements inside and out. Built in Nicosia, Cyprus, the home “brings nature back to the city” with inviting outdoor areas for gathering with friends and neighbors as well as balconies and rooftops for more indoor/outdoor living opportunities. The designers put the focus on nature after realizing the development of Nicosia lacked greenery and public communal areas as part of its urban development. With this in mind, the team incorporated an abundance of potential for microclimates within the space. To achieve this goal, 60% of the ground floor incorporates garden space, which includes lush plants and wildflowers . Additionally, a green terrace on the first floor continues the garden theme. All areas within the home open up to the outdoors; the ground floor is connected via a centralized courtyard. Related: Instagram data uncovers the world’s top #urbanjungles While creating all this green space is great for the residents of Garden House, it’s also beneficial to pollinators . The bee-friendly landscape includes 40 kinds of native wildflowers and encourages the return of local bird species that have mostly been driven out of the city. In addition to improving the air and visual appeal for humans and supporting wildlife , the design is a thoughtful gift to the planet with elements that work to slow global warming. Christos Pavlou Architecture is a small design studio that opened in 2003. With a focus on indoor/outdoor spaces and attention to solving problems related to customer needs and climate conditions, the firm has earned several recognitions, including a first-place Cyprus state architecture award in 2019 in the Outstanding Architecture category. Christos Pavlou Architecture is currently a nominee for the European Union Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2021, Barcelona.  + Christos Pavlou Architecture Photography by Charis Solomou via v2com

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Garden House brings nature back to the city

Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion

September 1, 2020 by  
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Sustainable fashion is on the rise, with materials from plastic water bottles to vegan apple leather becoming more and more common in the industry every day. Recent design graduate Jasmine Linington is taking sustainable fashion a step further with a new couture collection that uses seaweed-derived textiles. The eco-friendly and thoughtful clothing displays the versatility of this ocean resource through seaweed fibers, dyes and embellishments. “Having fallen in love with seaweed for its utter beauty and endless visual inspiration, whether that be for its colour, texture or composition, it was this initial capture that began the journey into my ‘ Seaweed Girl ’ project,” Linington said. “I have since spent the last few years exploring ways in which I can incorporate this alternative, highly sustainable material into my practice in a way that showcases its beauty, but also its environmental benefits.” Related: Surprising ways seaweed benefits the environment After learning that seaweed and microalgae make up about 90% of plant life on the planet, Linington became motivated to find innovative ways to use seaweed in fashion. Seaweed and microalgae are highly sustainable, especially because they are some of the fastest growing organisms on Earth. The inventive artist hand-harvests seaweed from the southeastern coast of Scotland to create the pieces. Linington develops the plants into beads and sequins for embellishments with a resin made from the byproducts of the harvesting process. For the fabrics , seaweed and eucalyptus cellulose combine to create SeaCell fibers. Seaweed is also used in the dying process to color the fabrics. These processes mean that everything in the collection is carbon-neutral and biodegradable. Linington’s project is ongoing. Next, the artist will be working on a line of textile wall hangings and artwork inspired by the seaweed collection as well as a small range of luxury interior accessories. + Jasmine Linington Via Dezeen Images via Jasmine Linington

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Seaweed Girl explores seaweed as an eco-textile for sustainable fashion

Levis announces product line made with Cottonized Hemp

August 6, 2020 by  
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Many people quickly associate denim and Levi’s. The iconic red tab label is instantly recognizable. Now, those looking for sustainable clothing options can also turn to the brand with its newest men’s product line called Levi’s Stay Loose, which is made with hemp. Stay Loose offers several options for men with, as the name implies, a loose fit through hips and thighs. With typical Levi’s innovation, the styles are fashioned using Cottonized Hemp, which is a fancy way of saying a portion of the yarn comes from the hemp plant and the manufacturing makes it feel like cotton. Now that hemp is legal to grow across the U.S., myriad products have adopted the beloved material for its strength, but also because it requires less water, chemicals and land space than cotton.  Related: These sustainable shoes by Rackle are made from hemp Janine Chilton-Faust, global VP of men’s design at Levi’s said, “The Stay Loose is the perfect jean to tap into the trend of looser silhouettes, which embraces both style and comfort. A fuller fit, a wider leg, a little taper, and with a throwback ‘90s vibe that’s still very contemporary.” The Stay Loose standard length bunches just over the top of sneakers while the crop length allows the wearer to show off their shoe of choice. They are available in a range of black, indigo and faded indigo washes. In addition, the Stay Loose Carpenter Pant features the traditional carpenter style with lower pockets, side utility pockets and, of course, the hammer loop. Another option, called the Climber Pant, comes in a lightweight, non-stretch canvas rather than denim and features an elastic waist band for comfort. While Cottonized Hemp shows potential as a more sustainable material , these products are still only comprised of 23% hemp and 77% cotton, so cotton isn’t completely out of the equation just yet. Other products from the company also include the Cottonized Hemp, including the classic Stay Loose Trucker jean jacket. For women, the High Loose pant line offers three options that incorporate the material, too. All products should be widely available in fall 2020. + Levi’s  Images via Levi’s

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Levis announces product line made with Cottonized Hemp

Rec Room presents ethically produced dresses for summer

July 21, 2020 by  
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Comfort, style, equality, sustainability — these values encapsulate the essence of Rec Room and its products, including a new line of ethically crafted summer dresses you’ll want to wear every single day. The company’s newest release is a line of versatile and comfy dresses, constructed with Italian-made fabric that is antimicrobial and wrinkle-resistant, making it a performance fabric that is machine-washable and quick-drying. It’s also a forgiving fabric for any type of lifestyle. It packs well thanks to the wrinkle-resistance. It’s also stain-resistant. Related: These funky sandals upcycle fabric from the cutting room floor The dress line, called Summer of Comfort, offers a variety of style options such as tank, slip, strap, tie and open back, all made with the same silky, breathable fabric. Rec Room is a business partnership — and friendship — between two women, Dre and Val. Although the company has many goals around clothing quality and sustainability, it also recognizes the racial injustices of the world. In response, it contributes 1% of gross sales to organizations working to eradicate systems of racial injustice, including The Equal Justice Initiative and The Loveland Foundation. Rec Room chose a production facility in California , so all products are made in the U.S. by the same company that produces athleticwear for the U.S. Olympics teams. With that in mind, it makes sense that each dress is breathable and stretchy, and, as the company says, “puts the leisure back in athleisure.” Both the manufacturing plant in California and the fabric manufacturer in Italy have earned high marks for employee wages, hours and work environment, as well as water management and low environmental impact. However, every business has to measure its carbon footprint, so even though it has made an effort to create a brand that ethically and sustainably produced, Rec Room also gives back to reforestation initiatives via 1% For the Planet and One Tree Planted. Customers can purchase additional carbon offsets directly through the company website. Rec Room Review Rec Room generously offered to send me a sample dress, which I eagerly accepted. I chose the tie dress in burgundy. For reference, I stand around 5’6” tall and weigh around 140 pounds, carrying most of my weight around my waist. I received a large and could likely have been comfortable in a medium, but the tie feature really allows me to tighten and loosen the fit to where I feel comfortable. The fabric is divine — breathable, stretchy, very soft and very comfortable to move in. It offers a luxurious feel without any concern for damaging it while wearing it during activities. I love that it is machine-washable and releases wrinkles nicely, even right out of the package. The dress I selected allowed me to play around with how to use the tie, creating quite different looks that made me feel confident. My favorite was criss-crossing it in the front; I also tried it with different jewelry . It’s very adaptable to dressing up and dressing down with a change from tall boots to sandals to Keds. I’m no model, but I’ve included a few candid shots to show how it fit my body type. Honestly, I rarely even wear dresses, but this is the most comfortable and versatile item of clothing in my closet and will likely sub in for times I would typically wear shorts or jeans. + Rec Room Images via Rec Room and Dawn Hammon / Inhabitat

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Rec Room presents ethically produced dresses for summer

Each purchase of this bag made from recycled plastic helps plant trees

July 14, 2020 by  
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Just in time to celebrate National Forest Week from July 13 to July 19, fashion brand Solo New York is planting one tree per purchase for its line of affordable bags made from recycled plastic bottles . The first run of the company’s Re:cycled Collection recycled over 90,000 bottles, and this is just the beginning. The environmentally friendly manufacturing process starts with discarded plastic bottles otherwise destined for the landfill and transforms them into a high-quality and lightweight recycled PET polyester yarn. The process uses 50% less energy and 20% less water and creates 60% less air pollution than traditional fiber manufacturing, according to Solo New York. The main bodies of the Re:cycled Collection bags are made up of the re-spun plastic yarn; the tags, strings and stuffing are made entirely from other biodegradable and recycled materials . Related: Patagonia’s Black Hole Bags are made from recycled plastic bottles The Re:store Tote ($54.99) is made with a heather gray material and includes a padded compartment for laptops, an interior organizer section, a key clip, a front zippered pocket, a quick access pocket and a back panel for sliding over luggage handles. The lightweight, 0.57-pound Re:vive Mini Backpack ($24.99) also includes adjustable shoulder straps and black camo interior lining, while the Re:move Duffel ($64.99) includes shoulder straps that are both removable and adjustable. This is not the first sustainability effort for the popular New York brand — the line also features eco-friendly packaging with fully biodegradable hang tags and recycled boxes. The company also limits use of single-use plastics, and its headquarters is 100% powered by 1,400 rooftop solar panels (which is enough to power 87 homes). Catalogs are printed on paper with 30% post-consumer fiber and are manufactured using renewable energy as well. Now, every bag purchased from the collection will help plant a tree with the National Forest Foundation. + Solo New York Images via Solo New York

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Each purchase of this bag made from recycled plastic helps plant trees

PaperTale app shows the ethics and sustainability of clothing with a simple scan

November 22, 2019 by  
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It’s often difficult to be a conscientious consumer. Even with the best intentions, we often just don’t have the information we need to make a truly informed decision. Sure we can observe and avoid excess packaging , but it’s challenging to get a deeper dive into the origin of materials or how employees at a plant halfway around the globe are treated. These are issues that inspired PaperTale, an app that provides information about the origin and production of certain products. The inspiration for PaperTale came to Swedish creator Bilal Bhatti after more than 15 years of witnessing the atrocities associated with fast fashion, such as worker exploitation and environmental pollution . Knowing how toxic the textile industry is to the planet and workers, he created a smart tag that allows tracking of the product through every stage of material sourcing, manufacturing and transport. Related: Good Clothing releases capsule collection made from hemp and organic cotton The smart tag provides transparency of the process so consumers can see the tale of the clothing they purchase. Traceability is achieved as businesses provide information at each stage of the process. Suppliers and buyers must register and verify each transaction independently of each other for a more comprehensive and authentic picture of the product supply chain. This information allows PaperTale to calculate an environmental footprint of the product that shows water usage and carbon emissions . Once manufacturing begins, employee hours are also tracked to ensure a fair working wage . For complete transparency, employees have access to their worker logs, via a kiosk within the factory or the app on their phones, to verify hours are properly recorded. All of the information gathered from all sources is stored using blockchain technology to enhance transparency and prevent users from manipulating the data. With a simple scan of the embedded smart tag using a smartphone, consumers can see the employees who made the garment and read their feedback about wages and working conditions . In addition, consumers can tip workers directly through the app and even contribute to crowdfund educational programs for workers or their children. PaperTale is currently campaigning on Kickstarter with a goal of just over $103,000. Rewards for pledges include clothing along with the PaperTale technology. The campaign ends December 13, 2019 with production set to begin in January if it is fully funded. + PaperTale Images via PaperTale

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PaperTale app shows the ethics and sustainability of clothing with a simple scan

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