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The R Collective is a social impact label making pieces from upcycled luxury garments

Words by Tess Macallan

Donating to environmental education programs in the process.

The fashion industry’s sustainability problem is well documented.

The industry contributes to approximately 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and generates 92 million tons of textile waste every year.

But there’s a new wave of brands challenging industry norms and setting an example for the rest to follow.

Established in 2017, Hong Kong label The R Collective became one of them by seeking to eliminate waste from the stage that matters most: the design phase.

Using a circular approach to fashion, the label upcycles luxury excess materials into elegant capsule collections twice a year, managed and created by Creative Director, Denise Ho. You’d never even guess they were sustainable.

The brand’s latest release, Start From Zero, sees leftover fabrics transformed into 14 beautiful pieces. Imaginative silhouettes, draping necklines and pleats define this collection.

The carbon footprint of a typical R Collective upcycled jacket is 60 per cent less than a similar jacket created using virgin materials.

What’s more, 25 per cent of The R Collective’s profit is donated to environmental NGO, Redress. Redress works to educate consumers and engage with the industry to transform textile waste and move towards a circular economy.

The organisation also champions emerging designers through the Redress Design Award. Following months of educating participants about circular, low-waste design, they are challenged to create a collection, and then recruit new designers from the awards to add to their in-house team.

thercollective.com

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