Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Inspired by The Ocean

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When we think of industries that have had a damaging impact on the environment, energy production, transportation, and even food come to mind. However, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world.

Did you know that making a pair of jeans requires 7,500 litres of water, the equivalent of the amount an average person drinks in 7 years?

Fast fashion uses innovative production and distribution models to dramatically shorten fashion cycles, sometimes getting a garment from the designer to the customer in a matter of a weeks instead of months. The number of fashion seasons has increased from two a year – spring/summer and fall/winter – to as many as 50-100 microseasons.

The rapid turnover of trends characterising Fast Fashion means clothes are disposable. Along with the deflation of clothing prices this has put the supply chain under unprecedented pressure. Catastrophes like those at Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza (the 2012 Dhaka fashion factory fire that killed over 100) exposed the human cost of fast fashion. 

The planet is asking us to start shopping in a smarter and more intentional way.

However, it is not easy to create environmentally friendly garments while maintaining comfort, style and affordable prices. For this reason, we applaud the initiatives of companies that with great effort and dedication are working to do their bit.

Such is the case of #SusTour Partner Repainted and DAN Europe Ambassador Raffaella Schlegel.

Let’s take a deeper look at their inspiring stories.

Repainted, Italian beachwear

Repainted is an Italian brand that was born out of their love for the sun, the sea and handmade creations. They believe in the Italian know-how in creating something unique, dedicated to enhance the exclusivity of the product.

All pieces are made of sustainable regenerated Lycra. Soft as silk, the fabric dries up quickly, does not lose elasticity and is particularly easy-care – you won’t ever have to iron them! – they are always ready to be worn.

Repainted love the artistic treasures that we can find in our environment, and their goal is to ‘repaint’ them on their pieces, in order to create unique and original designs, reminding us of the astonishing history of Italy. The decorative patterns from Italian art history are the focus; a timeless component of many artistic styles, whose beauty and stories still follow us today.

FROM THE SEA TO THE SEA

All their garments are handmade with Econyl, an innovative fabric obtained from recycled nylon waste, such as fishing nets and buoys from the sea.

Their creations are ideal to enjoy the sea: high resistance to chlorine, salt and sunscreen, ensuring excellent protection from uv rays. Moreover the garments do not lose their elasticity over time, always keeping their original shape.

Repainted stems from the desire to create conscious and artisanal fashion. All the garments are handmade with love, with an eye to traditions and to the environment.

ZERO WASTE

Repainted’s production chain is created to minimize waste, from the design phase to the packaging one. The sustainability of the company does not stop with the fabric, but embraces the entire creative process, creating a true virtuous circle.

For example, they have chosen to tie the tags, which you find on every single creation, with an elastic made of the same fabric of your garment. You can use it as you like, to tie your hair, as a bracelet or as you preferrer!

Raffaella Schlegel

A perfect and compelling link between photography and design, the fashion collection “Ocean Art” by Raffaella Schlegel, in which the designer transposes all her passions and all her experiences.

Each piece is individually printed and meticulously handcrafted from an ECO GEORGETTE 100% made of post consumer plastic bottles collected and spun into a premium yarn in Italy. 

Raffaella was European swimming champion with a solid background in fashion, achieved by attending the Istituto Marangoni in Milan. After several years of dedication she decided to express her immense love for water. First in South Africa and now in Mexico, she dedicated herself, with her partner Dietmar Posch, to scuba diving with sharks focusing on underwater photography.

‘When I photograph in the water I am guided by passion and feelings. In this way I can catch the moment and make real art’

says with full conviction the Lady – and friend – of the sharks. 

The collection consists of 49 ‘simple’ and timeless pieces, including outfits and accessories, unique in colors and patterns, each one with its own name, each one different from the others, with the only exception of the maxi caftans, which are presented in four different variants. 

Everything reflects an inspiration with a charm really difficult to match: the enchanted universe of the oceans, their depth, their surface, their coasts, with all the living creatures populating them. Fish, amphibians and mammals are the subjects of the images taken by Raffaella.

The images are printed on fabric, with a multitude of effects and variations. Sometimes the subject is clearly identifiable. Sometimes it becomes abstract, and exaggerated in its proportions. Sometimes the focus is on a single and specific detail – such as the scales or gills, and the image becomes a purely graphic element.

The chromatic palette reflects the richness of the reference world: a kaleidoscope full of hues – light or deep – between blue and bright blue, coral red, natural tones, sand gold, as well as the intense tones of the earth and bush landscape. 

Everything is eco-friendly, made from a ‘Newlife’ Yarn 100% recycled from used water bottles, organic cotton and organic silk. This reflects Raffaella’s boundless love for nature with its incredible beauty and to her strong commitment to preserving it. Everything appears to be essential, both in the lines and in the mono-size shapes, light and floating like a wave or the sea breeze, with the transparency of the most crystal clear waters.

The pieces can be worn over bikinis, over tank tops and shorts, over sheath dresses, becoming perfect outfits for the hours after the beach, or day looks as well as evening ones. The fabric’s virtual weightlessness is balanced by an extremely thin lightweight piping, that guarantees a perfect aplomb, following the silhouette intotal sync with its movements. 

Almost all pieces can be worn and interpreted in many different and free ways: the shorter caftan can become a mini-dress or a blouse to put into the trousers; the pareo can become a stole or an oversize scarf, even for men, the same pareo and the smaller scarf can become a sash to roll up around the waist; the foulard can cover the shoulders, let fall freely along the arms, knot over the breast or at the hips.

Everything is made in Italy which guarantees the accuracy of its origin regarding cuts, design, print and recycled packaging.  Each piece is presented in a small bag also made of techno-georgette, in the same colors and with same patterns as the outfit which isinside. It is closed with a seal completed with a short phrase which tells the name of the look, recalls the pictures inspiration, and explains the place and the moment where and when it was taken. A little as if it were a painting. 

It is a style to love.

The invitation is to be more conscientious as consumers. Try to invest more in quality and less in quantity – within your means – and support those producers who direct their efforts towards more sustainable and durable products.