Earlier this month, the renowned online retailer of authentic and resale luxury goods unveiled the first images of the collection from its new recycling programme, ReCollection, Recollection01. The collection is made up entirely of recycled pieces created in partnership with eight luxury brands: Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney, Jacquemus, Simone Rocha, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Ulla Johnson and A-Cold-Wall.
“Over the past decade, The RealReal has championed the circular economy, extending the life of luxury products through resale, repair and now our ReCollection upcycling programme,” said Julie Wainwright, founder and CEO of The RealReal. “Having such a dynamic group of luxury brands join us for our first collection sends an incredibly powerful message about the importance of circularity and the opportunity we all have to support a more sustainable future for fashion. We hope ReCollection will inspire people to think about the afterlife of what they own and embrace more conscious consumption.”
Each of the more than 50 items in the ReCollection 01 line, which launched yesterday, is made from unsaleable pieces donated by the designer and reinterpreted by Atelier & Repairs, an LA-based workshop dedicated to perpetuating circular fashion. Pieces of unfinished American quilts are incorporated into each look to give it new life. Each piece was created with ReCollection’s high standards of sustainability, including no virgin fabrics, a waste-free process and fair wages for production in America.
“It’s about taking items that would most likely be destined for landfill or recycling and upcycling them into new items that have more value than the original. The value is subjective – it can be artistic value or economic value – but it’s generally about keeping [the item] in its form, essentially, but turning it into a new item, as opposed to recycling, which is taking the material, breaking it down and turning it into something totally different, which requires a lot of energy and materials. Downcycling] is still better than nothing, but [upcycling] is what we think is the best way to keep items out of landfill,” says James Rogers, RealReal’s sustainability director.
Prices range from $195 to $2,450, and a small selection sold online is available at the flagship shop in New York’s SoHo district. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each piece will be donated to One Tree Planted to support its global reforestation work.
“As a designer, I think it’s the greatest compliment to your designs to have an afterlife – to me, that’s luxury. And I take that into account from the beginning of the process. The timelessness of the design, the way it’s made, the materials used to produce it – it’s all part of our philosophy at Stella McCartney,” said Stella McCartney. “We invest a lot in making sure our products are made to last rather than end up in a landfill.”
According to Sasha Skoda, Head of Women’s Fashion at RealReal, the selection of designers was a long and careful process. It was necessary to choose veteran sustainability-minded designers like Stella McCartney and Maria Cornejo and to seek the participation of favourite clients like Balenciaga and Jacquemus.
“Thinking about these eight designers being so different from each other, we were a bit worried from the start: how are we going to make this collection cohesive when the individual pieces are so different and unique. The quilts became the glue. We loved this idea, because it was a single thread concept that creates a narrative between all the pieces, but it also speaks to the idea of American craftsmanship, quality and “handmade” although not all of the designers included are American, the feeling is extended to the high quality associated with the brand names. That’s something we really honour at The RealReal, in terms of luxury and craftsmanship, and these are the pieces that are going to have a very long life and be able to transform into other items that can live in different people’s wardrobes for years.”
Featured Photo : © The RealReal
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