Wednesday, July 24, 2019

These Chairs Were Designed Using Recycled Clothing From Maison Margiela, Off-White, Raf Simons, and More

Upcycling has become a popular term of art in the fashion industry over the last year or so. Innovative designers like Marine Serre and Marni’s Francesco Risso, who make their garments using vintage scarves, deadstock fabric, or thrift store finds, have become darlings in the field. They, along with several more of their peers, are changing the way the industry sees its approach towards sustainability in the luxury sector, as well as taking the idea of repurposed fashion to the mainstream. Now, in honor of Earth Day, two more fashion entities are moving the needle further, this time with furniture. 

E-tailer LN-CC and designer DRx, otherwise known as Darren Romanelli, have come together to create a series of chairs upholstered entirely with garments from Martine Rose, Alyx, Vetements, Maison Margiela, Off-White, and Raf Simons. The collection includes a sofa and two chairs, each designed with patchwork and made in modern, spherical shapes. The three items mark an ongoing sustainability project between the store and DRx called RxCycle, with more specially designed, upcycled furniture to be produced and sold directly on the LN-CC site.

“For nearly 20 years now, my core approach to design has been to focus on upcycling vintage pieces in order to breathe new life into discarded or overlooked materials,” Romanelli explains of his work. “When LN-CC contacted me about this project, I immediately recognized the synergy between their initiatives and my passion for reinvention.” LN-CC selected the designer pieces, handed them to Romanelli, and let him craft the chairs freely. As Reece Crisp, head of buying and creative at LN-CC says: “Having begun discussions in August of last year, the timing couldn’t have been better. With Fall 2018 in full flow, the idea was to make a selection of our favorite pieces from a select number of brands and rework those goods into furniture, as opposed to putting them on sale.” 

Crisp is excited to continue building RxCycle and to propose new creative initiatives that will limit the amount of clothing the site puts on sale or ultimately has to throw away. (On average, in Europe and the United States, a family can throw away up to 30 kilograms of clothing each year.) For Romanelli, it’s a new way of challenging and pushing vision forward as a designer. “The true importance of working with deadstock and repurposing material is that it functions as an important first step towards sustainability,” he says. “The added benefit is that it inspires us to create something new and exciting from these materials that would be discarded. That’s the fun part.”

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