If a brand hasn’t seriously investigated the timeline of its product, it is adding to the problem of waste! Of course, some brands have a fantastic line of sustainable products, credit to them! Yet under their same brand umbrella, they sell full-on fast fashion within another section of their shop. Yes, this is happening under our very own eyes, we have got to get savvy because luxury brands are not immune to fast fashion!
Why Sea change?
Greenhouse gases come from anthropogenic-human activity. Still, more issues in the fashion world are not being addressed, such as waste, pollution, hazardous chemicals, overproduction and the social impact. More so than ever, the sea change is now part of the conversation. Our entire brand’s foundations are based on helping to restore the natural world through innovative design. The end-of-life of a product and building biodiversity plans are vitally important but acting on them more so, we need to build a preservation mindset and develop this.
We are heavily involved in Ocean cleanup. Rather than passively waiting it out, along with our partners, we are actively helping to innovatively rid the oceans of plastics. If no action is taken, plastic will increasingly impact our ecosystems, health and economies. Take a look at the story of plastic below, and if you have some time, The Ocean Cleanup is a real eye-opener!
At aoife ®, we are aware and have been watching the statistics. Things are looking up! Changes are happening for the better; you’ll be glad to know that 66% of consumers will pay more for a sustainably made product. This trend is rising, which bodes well for our future!
But let’s face it; climate change is not just about emissions; it is about a backward system that has benefited some socially at the expense of others and, vitally, our planet.
What can we do?
Time to radically revolutionise our thought process, how we sustainably design, produce, communicate with each other; let’s work together collaboratively, innovatively in a progressive manner to create substantial change for the better. Pre-historically we were supposed to work as a tribe together, so why not share knowledge again -pool resources and experiences. Why are we not wearing our clothes so that humans’ prosper, so that well-being, interdependence and our natural world can thrive? What does this say about our generation? The survival of our future generations depend on us; we have got to get woke now! This is the time to show a firm commitment to respect and care for the planet and its people.
Waste is a design flaw
“Designers have the opportunity to make substantial environmental change. The best advice I have received as a designer was, ‘waste isn’t waste until you waste it.”
Designers and the media can be the game changers to climate change! Our circular brand’s foundations are built on the principle that “Waste is a design flaw”. We help to improve our environment by supporting environmental initiatives and actively using regenerative resources which help replenish the natural world. The depletion of natural resources critically endangers every layer of prosperity for future generations.
“Sustainability is about people and the health of our community. It’s about environmental conservation, economic development and social responsibility. You can have luxury from a source of waste; this is the beauty, the beauty of regeneration, just like the season’s change.”
What are we doing differently as a fashion brand?
“From waste to wear, we transform waste into new textiles. Our products, embody smart, traceable solutions that recognize the interconnectedness of the world and the human element associated with it. The Econyl brand ® yarn we use to create our products is infinitely recyclable! Nylon 6 as they call it- is an innovative and uniquely crafted nylon because it can be depolymerized and re-polymerized without any loss of quality. Our approach makes the aoife ® brand fully transparent. To combat carbon footprint, our fabrics, metals and manufacturing all take place in immediate proximity.”
We operate on a closed-loop recycling process; we work with recovered materials that go through a regeneration process; without sacrificing quality, we use regenerated resources with equal quality as the original input to enable infinite recycling. And we like challenges! This year we are pushing ourselves much further as a brand. We will continue to restore and design with regenerated, reclaimed and biodegradable resources. We will focus on “designing for disassembly”, ensuring the deconstruction design of our products. We offer a repair service, and we will continue to recycle, upcycle and reuse separate elements within our designs; this innovative approach inspires our design process right back at the design table.
“Every aspect of production is carefully planned to establish a circular model – redesigning waste into new products. Rather than using virgin materials in the production process.”
We teamed up with the kindest group of people – Healthy Seas. Healthy Seas was founded in 2013 to tackle the ghost fishing phenomenon responsible for the needless death of marine animals. They prevent marine litter, collect waste nets and ensure they become a valuable resource. The nylon fishing nets are regenerated with other nylon waste by our partners Aquafil into Econyl ® regenerated yarn. We use Econyl ® regenerated nylon to handcraft our bags.
Econyl ® – The Back Story
Econyl ® is regenerated nylon made from fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring and industrial waste from landfills and oceans. The nylon is recycled back to its original purity through a radial purification process. Aquafil is an Italian company that we have been working with that produces Econyl ®, and they work, like us, on a transparent policy, meaning every stage of the sourcing and manufacturing is extensively controlled and inspected. Econyl ® regenerated yarn is innovative in design; the nylon can be recycled infinity without losing yarn quality.
“Nature creates circular systems, while humans set up linear ones. For this reason, there is no ‘waste’ in nature. We need to work in harmony with nature to preserve life and create a closed-loop, circular fashion process understanding the whole life-cycle. It’s all a shift in the mindset: a circular product like ours is restorative, regenerative by purposeful design. It replaces that idea of end-of-life with a sustainable shift in mindset to restoration. At aoife ®, we provide products for the conscious community.”
So this year, we will continue to use our present principles and build on them. In addition to designing on closed-loop, sustainable and disassembly principles, we are focusing in particular on equality and diversity. Still, a radical unlearning of fashion-as-we-know-it needs to be studied here. Irrespective of a person nationality, demographic, gender, national or ethnic origin, colour, language, religion or any other status, we will explore, in-depth through design, the principles of equality that protect against discrimination. I know there are some great intentions and laws in place, but honestly, people behind the scenes in the fashion garment world are not experiencing these commitments so nicely spread out by the law! The social impact of the fashion world and its narratives have a critical role to play in this respect.
Fashion, diversity, sustainability, equality, and equity can flourish side by side. The question is, are we going to wait till we are shocked and disturbed by climate change or a financial crisis to spur renewal and innovative thinking?