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Platform: Fashion, Consciousness and Recycling

Platform: Fashion, Consciousness and Recycling


What makes a brand or its product sustainable? At its core, fashion is an industry that thrives off newness and continuous consumption, which is the antithesis of true sustainability. While true sustainable fashion is rare, we can be encouraged by a growing movement towards responsible fashion. Emerging brands and storied houses alike are making better choices everyday, which are helping to minimise their social and environmental impact. Since LN-CC first launched LN-CC Conscious back in 2014, one of the shifts we’ve seen is a growing number of core, contemporary and luxury brands launching recycled products or products that utilise recycled materials. Of course, as the sustainability memes remind us, a single small-scale conscious collection made from recycled materials does not erase widespread overproduction. However, it does demonstrate what’s possible

To help us evaluate what this shift means as we showcase a conscious edit of responsible products on Global Recycling Day, we turned to LN-CC collaborator, founding partner of The Bear Scouts, special advisor to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, and lecturer at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Dio Kurazawa. With over twenty years experience working in fashion production, Dio is devoted to advocating and implementing a more responsible clothing industry. When it launched almost a decade ago, few truly listened to the responsible possibilities that the The Bear Scouts supported. Today, as it continuously evolves to offer the most innovative and disruptive solutions for brands, retailers, and the supply chain alike, the industry is not only listening, but taking action too.


As a leading voice on responsible design with more than two decades of fashion production experience, how do you feel about Global Recycling Day? How would you like to see brands, retailers and consumers alike react to it?
I love call to actions as they get me really excited about the possibility of change. As someone who practically spends 90% of my work life in the supply chain, I’d like to see brands design products with circularity in mind, retailers to exclusively stock brands that embrace transparency, circular principles and fairness throughout all tiers of their supply chains. Ideally, consumers will simply demand more responsible behaviour from brands and retailers and support those who do with their very important purchasing power.

What are the strongest truths about recycling within the fashion industry? And the most common misconceptions that we can begin to set straight here?
Sadly, we produce and consume far more than we recycle. The current strain on natural resources is too heavy to sustain our consumption rates. However, our current economic system requires that consumer spending continually increases in order to avoid recession. This conundrum can be solved if we are truly focused on creating products that can be reused. This would help ease the strain on natural resources. However, the biggest misconception is that circularity is possible at all levels of fashion. Sure, there are a few niche brands that create circular products through the use of Recover® or Reverso®, ReNewcell®, Cordura® Eco Uk ® or the like, but this is still at a product level. When the big fashion houses, luxury or fast, design all products with end of life in mind, only then will circular fashion really take off. This will require brands to design products that can easily be broken down by recyclers to speed up the recycle rate. In order for that to occur, material innovators need to create products that are as good if not better than their traditionally made counterparts. We’re simply not there yet.

What are the strongest truths about recycling within the fashion industry? And the most common misconceptions that we can begin to set straight here?
Sadly, we produce and consume far more than we recycle. The current strain on natural resources is too heavy to sustain our consumption rates. However, our current economic system requires that consumer spending continually increases in order to avoid recession. This conundrum can be solved if we are truly focused on creating products that can be reused. This would help ease the strain on natural resources. However, the biggest misconception is that circularity is possible at all levels of fashion. Sure, there are a few niche brands that create circular products through the use of Recover® or Reverso®, ReNewcell®, Cordura® Eco Uk ® or the like, but this is still at a product level. When the big fashion houses, luxury or fast, design all products with end of life in mind, only then will circular fashion really take off. This will require brands to design products that can easily be broken down by recyclers to speed up the recycle rate. In order for that to occur, material innovators need to create products that are as good if not better than their traditionally made counterparts. We’re simply not there yet.


Platform: Fashion, Consciousness and Recycling

To what extent do you think the industry is listening and reacting with positive changes?
The demand for responsible alternatives have certainly increased. I started The Bear Scouts almost 10 years ago when viable responsible alternatives were few and far between. As the demand increased, so has the opportunity for innovators to create businesses and eventually products that speak to that demand. Brands, at all levels, have shown sincere interest in tapping into responsible alternatives to a multitude of fabrics and materials. When I started, I couldn’t imagine speaking to Gucci, Patta or 424 about using 100% recycled fabrics, but these conversations are the norm now. As long as brands can maintain or improve quality, it simply makes sense for them to adopt a more responsible alternative. Cost is always a discussion point, but if both parties are willing, this too can be easily overcome.

One of the many great points in Alec Leach’s The World Is On Fire But We’re Still Buying Shoes, is his warning of Sustainability™– that somewhere along the way sustainability has been co-opted by Big Fashion’s response to our anxieties and making products seem less problematic than they really are. Do you agree? From brands to consumers and retailers, what more can we all do? What are some of the positive changes you’d like to see implemented tomorrow?
Alec is a friend! I love his perspective and have had several discussions with him. I agree with him 100%. However, I think we have to consider the capitalist system that we all live under. Big business employs consumers who consume the products for the 1% of the population that controls much of our lives. The fact that sustainability has become Sustainability™️ is no surprise in a capitalist society. One only has to consider the food industry. We all feel much better eating Fat Free, Organic, Free Range, but have little idea of how the food system works or it’s true impact on our environment. Like fashion we simply accept the pill big business asks us to swallow as it’s much easier than dealing with the reality. I’d love to see radical transparency. Something akin to cigarette packaging on all products. I really believe consumers need to truly understand the impact of their purchases on themselves and the environment. It’s far too easy to focus on the positive narrative when purchasing which is often filled with messaging poised at speaking to our insecurities. I love when New York established its Calorie Count Law. The fashion industry needs something as direct as this.

Finally, what other call to actions would you like to see taken this Global Recycling Day and beyond?
Overall we really have to stop relying on someone else to fix the challenges facing our planet. If an issue strikes a cord with you, it’s not by mistake. We are all connected. We are all made up of the same energy. There is so much more that connects us than divides us. I’m so very proud of the issues that are currently being discussed regarding waste, inclusion, equality, consumption, economic reform….. Be the change you want to see. Start from where you are by planting the seed of change. You may not live to reap the rewards, but it’s not about you! Spread love and stand up against hate! Save the F*cking Planet!!


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Recycled Rubber Boots GANNI
EU - 35 EU - 36 EU - 37 EU - 38 EU - 39 EU - 40 EU - 41
Recycled-Nylon Slingback Heels Prada
EU - 36 EU - 37 EU - 38 EU - 39 EU - 40 EU - 41
Wide-Leg Survival Tailored Pants Marine Serre
FR - 34 FR - 36 FR - 38 FR - 40
1982 Techno Canvas Sneakers Virón
EU - 36 EU - 37 EU - 38 EU - 39 EU - 40 EU - 41 EU - 42 EU - 43 EU - 44 EU - 45 EU - 46
Virón
1982 Techno Canvas Sneakers
£155
£109 (30%)
Conscious
Marine Serre
Logo T-Shirt
£145
£94 (35%)
Conscious
Backless Loafers Virón
EU - 36 EU - 37 EU - 38 EU - 39 EU - 40 EU - 41 EU - 42 EU - 43 EU - 44 EU - 45 EU - 46
Virón
Backless Loafers
£150
£105 (30%)
Conscious
Marine Serre
Moire Jacket
£710
£462 (35%)
Conscious
Virón
Toe Cap Sneakers
£150
£105 (30%)
Conscious
Virón
1992 Apple Leather Boots
£175
£123 (30%)
Conscious
OAMC RE-WORK
Czech Top
£435
£283 (35%)
Conscious
OAMC RE-WORK
Liner Coat
£1,055
£686 (35%)
Conscious
Re-Nylon High-Top Sneakers Prada
EU - 36 EU - 37 EU - 38 EU - 39 EU - 40