09 February 2024

Re-use is chic: The new paradigm of conscious fashion is about endless recreation

Oway collaborated with Quid, a social enterprise dedicated to recovering and upcycling, to create our Furoshikis: an accessory with endless uses that is inspired by Japanese tradition, in order to reduce textile waste and extend the fashion supply chain.

In a world is which everything has already been created, the only permanent trend is boredom.

Fashion innovates, surprises, and breaks the rules, but most of all, for decades now, it has believed in the biggest scam of all: making beauty and desirability synonymous with originality.

As a result, we though that to be attractive required new resources, exorbitant energy costs, and unsustainable production from scratch. No more. Fast fashion has long benefited from this belief, encouraging the over-consumption of clothing that is designed to expire and generating excessive waste without planning for its disposal.

(Learn more: “The impact of textile production and waste on the environment” Source: The European Parliament)  

Today, true luxury finally means reinventing what already exists. Creating valuable objects and garments using what is already in circulation.

Thinking about the end of the life cycle. And transforming it into an endless cycle.

 

 

Upcycling: the only fashion trend that isn't meant to be fleeting

What is upcycling? The meaning is in the word.

It means “upping” the original object’s value through reuse, improving it functionally or aesthetically. 

As with recycling, it means charting a new course for a resource or material that already exists in our planet, to benefit our insatiable society. Unlike recycling, however, it does not require a new production process. Upcycling takes products and textiles as they are, using only creativity and bold imagination to transform them.

This is a way of creating garments that defies classification as a trend, for two very good reasons. First of all, it has always existed, for fans of DIY and major designers alike. 

Secondly, putting things back into circulation is a serious endeavour with no end date.

 

New possibilities: for people and fabric

 

 

 

The fashion industry is re-discovering ways to be a bit more responsible every day. This begins with reducing environmental impact, but it also goes beyond that.

The larger goal is to re-shape the entire supply chain to make it more sustainable, including principles of environmental safeguarding as well as those of ethical fashion.

Breaking free from exploitative structures includes all of the above. Designing an environmentally sustainable production process goes hand-in-hand with doing away with another pillar of fast fashion: disregarding labour conditions in favour of chasing irresponsible production targets.

This is where social sustainability comes in. Another way of creating new value is for companies to invest in human capital and bet on second chances for all kinds of resources: not just material resources, but above all, human resources.

 

Recovery, commitment, and reducing waste: Quid x Oway

 

 

Speaking of active, activist companies that turn their words into action... 

We recently had the opportunity to meet a company that shared our values and intentions. Quid is much more than just an ethical fashion brand. It is a concrete example of the more inclusive and virtuous paths that exist in the world of fashion, where limits can become jumping-off points.

Quid makes the world of employment accessible to those most at risk of exclusion, with a particular focus on women. This social enterprise is dedicated to recovery and upcycling, working with surplus fabric from brands in the high fashion industry. 

This model gives rise to beautiful, limited-edition collections that extend the life cycles of fabrics and concretely incentivise circular economy practices.

Oway's meeting with Quid unlocked something intuitive: a limitless accessory with no time, use, or coordination constraints. It is designed to last, decorate, and imagine endless possibilities of reuse.

 

Furoshiki: The art of binding elegance with reuse

 

What does this involve?

Furoshiki is an ancient Japanese art form that consists of wrapping objects with decorative fabrics, creating refined and reusable packages. In other words, it is one of the world’s first eco-bags, which can replace ultra-polluting plastic bags.

As is often the case, it was born from practical necessity: first used to transport a clean change of clothes into the onsen, Japan’s traditional thermal baths. Over time, the size of the Furoshiki was adapted to suit new uses (such as carrying books or food).

Ancient traditions often offer valuable inspiration for reconnecting with a culture of reuse.

Thanks to a variety of folding and tying techniques, Furoshikis can promote creative reuse for wrapping gifts, carrying objects, or creating bags instead of relying on single-use materials.

They're the ideal solution for protecting the environment without sacrificing originality, elegance, or style. The designs created by Oway and Quid serve as wrappers to enclose the products of the Love Days collection. Once opened, they can be transformed into countless accessories, giving free reign to your creativity and inspiration. 

From recovering fabrics to a new life for repurposed materials.

Upcycling leads to more upcycling: because virtuous human connections create positive change for the future of the planet.

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