14 Global brands bringing fashion and sustainability together

Model Imaan Hammam wears a By Walid kimono and vest; bywalid.co.uk.

By Walid, United Kingdom

Walid al Damirji structured his brand By Walid around a single principle: no waste. “It would
be disrespectful otherwise,” the designer says of the antique textiles like curtains, vintage clothing, and tapestries that he transforms into romantic blouses, jackets, and even homewares like pillows and quilts. When it comes to finding these materials, al Damirji says, “I leave no stone unturned—auctions, vintage fairs, car boot sales—you name it!” His deep care made him one of the first in the luxury fashion industry to take upcycling and sustainability seriously.—Steff Yotka

Model He Cong wears a Mozh Mozh cardigan, pants, and shawl; mozhmozh.com.

Hammam wears a Maison ARTC dress; maisonartc.com.

Mozh Mozh, Peru

Mozhdeh Matin launched her label in 2015, she explains, to “work with local artisans
and preserve their techniques.” She was motivated by the concept of a circular economy, and indeed, her colorful and traditionally woven separates, dresses, and accessories—made from alpaca, cotton, and wool yarns also native to Peru—​have put that wheel in motion. “All artists take inspiration from their surroundings,” she says, “and the climate crisis is pushing a lot of us to create inventive ways to become more sustainable.”—Marley Marius

ARTC House, Morocco

Maison ARTC is the five-year-old brainchild of Israeli Moroccan designer Artsi Ifrach, who works as sustainably as he can from his Marrakech atelier, morphing together his vast collection of 19th-century antique clothing with local textiles, like handwoven handira blankets from the Atlas Mountains. Tea as he can is crucial here: “Sustainability and industry, production, fast fashion—none of these are sustainable, unless you do haute couture,” Ifrach says. His solution: collectible one-off pieces designed to keep the past alive in the present.—Mark Holgate

He wears a Bode coat and pants; bodenewyork.com.

He in a Marine Serre dress and catsuit; marineserre.com.

Bode, United States

When Emily Adams Bode burst onto the menswear scene in 2017 with her upcycled quilted jackets, the boyish shape and the nod to craft resonated instantly, but her reverence for the
objects and stories of the past also carried through with quilts, clothes, linens, tablecloths, and blankets. She’s since introduced a tailoring shop next door to her Hester Street flagship in NYC, where customers can bring items to be repaired or “preserved,” as Bode tells it. “We’re teaching our community how clothing can last for generations.”—Emily Farra

Marine Serre, France

“The regenerating process is complex, unique, and meticulous,” says Marine Serre, whose brand balances the use of eco-responsible fibers with the repurposing of vintage tees, leather jackets, jeans, and even tea towels into savvy new garments. Serre constructed the dress seen here from scarves found in French markets, draping and wrapping them to create a classic silhouette from unexpected materials. Using the old to make new isn’t easy—especially for a designer producing on her scale. “We had to rework the whole chain of production,” she says. “Eco-futurism is about a way to live, a way to act, and a way to get inspired. We want things to make sense.”—SY

Hammam wears a Conner Ives top; connerives.com.

He wears a Morphine Compendium Dior vintage jacket, and pants; morphine.online.

Conner Ives, United Kingdom

At least 75 percent of this Central Saint Martins graduate’s designs are made from vintage, deadstock, or sustainable materials. “It’s always about finding new materials to use and new processes to develop,” says Ives. “It’s a constant and hungry evolution.” The designer, who hails from Bedford, New York, says living in London has influenced the way he sources and implements secondhand materials. “When I first got to London, I spent most of my time with friends going to thrift stores,” says Ives. “I so much enjoy the hunt.”—Christian Allaire

Morphine, Italy

Morphine is an innovative brand-slash-retailer based in Reggio Emilia selling vintage designer items—think ’90s Comme des Garçons and early-aughts McQueen—and upcycled pieces through its own line, Compendium 01: Pazzesca. “Our process lies in reawakening and giving life to products that this industry has produced and forgotten,” says Morphine’s project manager, Sasha Payton. “We produce one-of-a-kind items by customizing and reassembling clothing, fabrics, and
yarns from deadstocks and leftovers from across the Italian supply chain.”—CA

Hammam in a Ka-Sha jacket, top, dress, and skirt; kasha.com.

Ka-Sha, India

“Change by design” is a kind of mantra for Karishma Shahani Khan and her label, Ka-Sha, based in Maharashtra, India. Other words important to her and her work: human, collaborate, hope, teamwork. The artisans and people she works with across India are as central to Ka-Sha’s story as natural, hand-dyed fabrics and zero-waste design methods: “We use clothing to celebrate handcraft and artisanal techniques, new and old,” Shahani Khan explains . The label’s capsule project, Heart to Haat, is produced entirely with leftover textiles and garments destined for landfill, “inspired by the indigenous ideology of reusing, repurposing, and reclaiming.”—EF

He wears a Duran Lantink top; duranlantink.com.

He in a Yuima Nakazato top, pants, and scarves; yuimanakazato.com.

Duran Lantink, Netherlands

Some designers have mood boards for inspiration. Duran Lantink, based in Amsterdam, instead creates some of his designs after trawling the city during the Tuesday night ritual when its residents leave things out on the street for others to take. “I never understood using new materials when there are so many beautiful things around me,” says Lantink, who started designing as a teenager, cutting up the Gaultier and Margiela his mother no longer wore. More recently he has utilized the likes of a vintage Balmain dress, a ’60s fur coat donated by a friend’s grandmother, and a regiment’s worth of army sweaters for his three-year-old label. “You get a pile of clothes and just start digging in,” Lantink says, laughing.—MH

Yuima Nakazato, Japan

At the Tokyo atelier of Japanese couturier Yuima Nakazato, responsibly sourced fabrics are as much a part of the design story as silhouette. For fall 2021, Nakazato marked the 10th anniversary of his label with a collection that included pieces made from upcycled leathers, organic cottons,
laces and linens hand-dyed with natural Japanese indigo (a process called aizome), along with others that combined nishijin-ori—a traditional kimono textile—with a plant-based synthetic inspired by spider silk. Nakazato’s raison d’être: “to make this world a better place through garments.”—MM

Hammam wears a Lagos Space Program dress.

Hammam wears a Rave Review dress, bikini top, and pants; rave-review.com.

Lagos Space Programme, Nigeria

Adeju Thompson’s work for Lagos Space Program rockets between past and present, and, crucially, it is mission based: Fashion is the vehicle through which the designer, who studied in Wales and England, has chosen to explore both their nonbinary identity and their Yoruban Nigerian legacy. “We are aware of our responsibility as inhabitants of the planet and are very conscious of waste and unsustainable production practices,” notes Thompson, who specifies that all of their pieces are made locally. They often work with precolonial silhouettes and collaborate with skilled artisans employing Indigenous craft techniques—like natural indigo dying—that they adapt, bringing them forward in time. “My ancestors left so much behind,” Thompson says. “I believe they expected us to continue telling these stories and building up on what they left.”—Laird Borrelli-Persson

Rave Review, Sweden

For Rave Review’s Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück, the way to a responsible future is through the past. From the start, the pair have worked only with existing materials, with a particular focus on home textiles—including blankets, printed sheets, and terrycloth towels—which they puzzle together into unique pieces. “These fabrics are so nice to work with—and in a way it feels more ‘new’ to work this way rather than to redesign existing fashions,” Bergqvist asserts. The designers often say that, because their fabrics have previous existences, their work is nostalgic by default—but it’s how these Swedes filter their work through their own childhood memories and contemporary obsessions that is drawing raves.—LBP

He wears a Juan de la Paz dress and skirt; juandelapaz.com.

Hammam in a Vitelli dress; vitelli.eu.

Juan de La Paz, Bolivia

Juan de La Paz was founded in 2009 by designers Juan Carlos Pereira and Andrés Jordan, who collaborate with Indigenous artisans in Bolivia and Peru to create their vibrant designs. “We learn from the ancestral knowledge of these communities to take care of Mother Earth when making fashion,” says Pereira. The clothes—most of which feature the label’s signature fringing—are handmade using recycled or donated clothing and discarded textiles (the line is also made-to-order and practices zero waste). Being Bolivian, both designers say, makes sustainability both essential and obvious. “The Latin American continent has an incredible cultural heritage, and it’s characterized by an enormous textile wealth,” says Jordan. “And truly contemporary Latin American design upcycles, looks for alternative materials, collaborates with Indigenous communities, and values ​​artisan craftsmanship.”—CA

Vitelli, Italy

Vitelli’s production is entirely made of knitwear-industry waste, much of it otherwise headed to landfills, which is then worked into traditional machine knits or needle-punch to create the label’s proprietary felted material—dubbed Doomboh—which is turned into crafty, raw, and touch parts. “The atelier inside my studio is called Organic Knitting Theater,” says Mauro Simionato, Vitelli’s founder and creative director. “Every day, we gather at the workshop and create, in a strange unison manner.” His main source of inspiration: the “music-driven, post-hippie” Italian counterculture movement that formed around the Cosmic Club on the Adriatic Riviera in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Vitelli’s took this local scene “as a model of how to participate in—and possibly inspire—the current global cosmic scene.”—LBP

In this story: hair, Shiori Takahashi; makeup, Lynsey Alexander.

This article first appeared on Vogue.com

Also read:

Vogue’s ultimate guide to sustainable fashion

7 emerging homegrown labels that are giving sustainable fashion a facelift

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