(Earth Month)

Prada’s New Handbag Collection Is The Brand’s Latest Commitment To Circularity

Re-Edition 1978 is an assortment of archival styles reimagined in recycled nylon.

Courtesy of Prada
Emma Watson holding the Prada Re-Edition 1978 black bag
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When you think of Prada, circularity may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the Italian brand wants to change that. And what better way to achieve this than with the iconic house’s signature nylon fabric that made belt bags cool (again) and inspired grown adults to carry small, schoolgirlish backpacks? Re-Edition 1978, a selection of recently launched archival bag styles made from a recycled and regenerative material — and is part of the larger Re-Nylon collection, which encompasses ready-to-wear and accessories — are available in stores and online just in time for Earth month.

The burgeoning focus on this part of the business, or any area that still require tangible resources, may sound counterintuitive to mitigating the effects of human consumption. But, as the principles of circular economy contends, extending the life of a product and utilizing a material that can be endlessly recycled into something of same quality conserves the need for new resources — thereby, lessening the load on the planet. This material is also sourced from plastic pollution found in the ocean and landfills (like fishnets), as well as textile fiber wastes. Creating sturdy and elegant bags while cleaning up the ocean in the process is one viable way for a fashion behemoth to do its part when it comes to sustainable development.

Furthermore, 1% of the proceeds from the Re-Nylon collection supports SEA BEYOND, an educational program founded by Prada Group and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission that “raises global awareness on sustainability and ocean literacy principles, educating young generations around the world.”

Courtesy of Prada

The origin of nylon goods at the Milanese brand dates back to the late ‘70s, when the textile was considered an unusual choice for a luxury carryall... or anything luxury at all. But true to Miuccia Prada’s ethos, she turned the industrial and utilitarian choice into something sensational, shifting the mindset, as she often and effectively does, of what is considered beautiful, and therefore desirable. With positive reception, the sturdy option has become a hallmark of Prada over the years; fast forward to four decades later, in 2019, all nylon products under the label are no longer made from virgin yarn but with an innovative fabric called ECONYL® — a regenerative yarn that could endlessly be broken down and recreated — created by Italian firm Aquafil. Present day, nylon is as synonymous to Prada as is the upside down triangle logo.

Fans of the brand can’t seem to get enough of it either. The first drop of the Re-Edition 1978 collection includes nine handbag styles ranging from the much coveted backpack to the roomy tote bag in an array of colors, with more styles to be added throughout the year. If you’re eyeing the ready-to-wear made of the regenerative fabric, everything from cropped blouson jackets and raincoats to track shorts and pencil skirts are readily available for purchase, too. And, should you decide to part ways with your Prada nylon goods by giving away to your dear friend or reselling it at your favorite resale site, you can be rest assured that it it will have a second, third, and so on, life.