R Collective: Fresh Upcycled Jackets at Barneys
With billions of tons of garments thrown away each year in landfills and polluting the planet, there’s nothing I love more than than recycled, reused, or retooled threads. Though dozens of repurposed eco-brands come and go each year, recently, I was thrilled to have a front-row seat in Hong Kong to personally witness the smashing runway debut of one of the freshest upcycled clothing brands to hit the marketplace: The R Collective.
The R Collective’s inaugural collections of jackets upcycles luxury brands’ unwanted fabrics to create striking pieces made from high quality materials that would otherwise have been wasted, making the statement loud and clear that fashion – one of the world’s biggest environmental polluters – can be a force for good. For those who couldn’t make it to Hong Kong for its much-anticipated launch during the inaugural Fashion Summit, you’re in luck: The R Collective just made its retail debut at Barneys New York, Lane Crawford and on its online platform to capitalize on the potential billion-dollar sustainable fashion market. Check out some of our favorite looks from the runway here:
Born from NGO Redress, the fashion think-tank founded by passionista Dr. Christina Dean – a trailblazer in the eco-fashion world for the past 10 years – The R Collective’s inaugural limited edition collection was designed by emerging designers Kévin Germanier and Victor Chu. Designed with cutting edge patterns and textiles, the collection features timeless lines with a unique twist, like the rear statement cuts outs that bring playfulness into classic blazer, trench and biker jacket silhouettes. Offered in black, ivory, blue, houndstooth, pinstripes and tweed in an array of upcycled light-weight wool, cady crepe and denim, the collection also boasts an exclusive capsule of masterfully crafted pieces using beautifully rescued luxurious brocades.
“The inaugural R Collective collection was designed with the contemporary and conscious woman in mind,” explain designers, Germanier and Chu. “Our collection was partly inspired by a discarded jacket found many years ago in a ﬁlthy discarded clothing bin, which was subsequently rescued through a creative DIY process that demonstrated how creativity can reimagine ‘waste’. We then re-interpreted this unusual ﬁnd and the result is a collection suitable for today’s evolving fashion lover, who wants her hard-working closet to come with an environmental and social conscience,” they said.
The R Collective, a highly promising award-winning social impact start-up, was realized through a collaborative effort that brings together a powerful and unique founding platform. The 10-year legacy of the pioneering work of Redress, the world’s largest NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry, set the scene for The R Collective. In order to maximise impact, 10% of R Collective’s proﬁts will be donated to Redress.
The collection couldn’t have come at a better time for the planet. Global textile production is on a huge scale; China, which is responsible for more than 50 percent of global textile production, produces over 80 billion meters of textiles annually. It is widely understood that millions of tonnes of new fabrics are discarded or incinerated each year. Meanwhile, the fashion industry’s total annual textile waste stands at an estimated 92 billion tons.
“We’ve witnessed seismic change over the last decade in the push for sustainable fashion, from industry to consumer,” says Christina Dean, The R Collective’s Co-Founder and Spokesperson. “Our Asia roots provide a pivotal position to drive change. We are located within the world’s fashion production powerhouses, where waste is generated and the majority of clothes are produced, and we can cater to fashion consumption hot-spots, especially in China, whilst our global retail reach means we can attract the increasing ethical consumer.”
The R Collective worked with environmental experts, RESET Carbon, on a carbon footprint life cycle analysis, from raw materials to factory, to estimate The R Collective’s carbon savings. Results suggest that a typical R Collective upcycled jacket has a 60% reduced carbon footprint compared with a similar jacket created using virgin materials, which is equivalent to diverting 14,882 plastic bottles from landﬁll.
“Through Barneys’ partnership with The R Collective, we hope to demonstrate that fashion can transform lives and the environment in a positive way as well as be a force for good,” said Leah Kim, Executive Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Women’s department at Barneys.
Joanna Gunn, Chief Brand Ofﬁcer, Lane Crawford, said “As part of Lane Crawford’s commitment to supporting young emerging talent, we are pleased to support The R Collective and its cause of promoting sustainability in fashion with the next generation of designers.”
The R Collective’s product offerings has recently expand with their luxury upcycled knitwear collection, designed by Kate Morris, winner of the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, The Redress Design Award 2017, which is now available on The R Collective’s e-commerce platform. The designs are truly one of a kind beautiful, so order yours before supplies run out!