Hooked On Recycling

 Luxury Shift: Recycled products that rival those from the best fashion houses in the world.

Just about everyone knows that one of the easiest ways to be environmentally friendly is to recycle. Sustainable style seekers have long been known to add breadth to their wardrobes with finds from thrift, consignment and vintage stores. More and more, the buzz is that fashion retailers are turning to reusable materials and some innovative techniques to get mainstream fashion consumers hooked on recycled fashion.

Born into one of Italy’s most famous and important fashion houses, Camina Campus creator, Ilaria Venturini Fendi uses the family talent for fine craftsmanship to produce high quality products from recycled materials that rival those from the best luxury houses in the world. Her line’s ongoing collaboration with the International Trade Centre and their Ethical Fashion Program—which seeks to improve working conditions for women in slums and rural areas of Kenya and Uganda—recently developed a capsule collection with legendary Milan lifestyle emporium, 10 Corso Cosmo. According to their journal, the lustworthy collection is made from recycled materials including “reclaimed military blankets and 10 Corso Como colorful fabric cuttings.”

From Style.com’s Style File, news of another retailer embracing recycled materials came from a fashion editor who got a glimpse of Club Monaco’s under-the-radar recycled repurposed vintage military collection due to hit stores this fall. She reports that “while in London, Club Monaco’s design team hand-picked one-of-a kind men’s vintage military jackets at Portobello Market and reformatted them into parkas, vests, and jackets for women.”  Authentic but altered for an updated, modern look, the line is sure to be a hit with eco and mainstream consumers alike. The 20 piece collection priced from $149 to $199 will be available at select Los Angeles and New York Club Monaco stores.

Oxfam, the U.K.’s Goodwill, have developed a truly innovative way to connect consumers to the fun of thrifting. The Oxfam Curiosity shop, a pop up store in London’s world-famous Selfridges store has partnered with Tales of Things to create QR code tags for many of the celebrity donations and vintage selections. According to PSFK, customers can “scan the mobile tags using their smartphones or any of the store’s bespoke RFID readers to reveal video of the associated celebrity explaining the charity and talking about the history of the item.”

With our culture’s voracious appetite for fashion and celebrity media, and, in turn, fashion and celebrity media sharing an unending appetite for newness, it seems logical to think of a future where everything has to be re-used and regenerated. For trend watchers, recycled fashion—the concept of taking something old and working it into something new—might yet be the most exciting style scene to track.


Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.