The RealReal has been a champion of sustainability and consignment shopping since its initial launch in 2011. The vintage retailer continues to innovate its sustainable fashion practices, and its most recent initiative is helping to redefine luxury fashion in an upcycled context. Launching today in honor of Earth Month, The RealReal’s sustainable capsule, ReCollection 01, features formerly damaged designer pieces that were repaired with vintage materials in order to extend their fashion life cycle.
The scrappy collection first started with donated items from eight brands: A-COLD-WALL*, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Jacquemus, Simone Rocha, Stella McCartney, Ulla Johnson, and Zero + Maria Cornejo. From there, Los Angeles-based company Atelier & Repairs reworked the garments into new styles by using colorful and vintage quilts, an aesthetic that tracks well with the patchwork trend. The quilted embellishments on the garments serve as a fashion bandaid that mends the piece’s original flaws and allows them to begin anew. For example, garments like a plaid blazer from Stella McCartney and a Balenciaga button-down received quilted patches and strips of textiles to add contrast without overshadowing their original design. “The point of view was not to change what designers have done with the clothes that we received,” said Maurizio Donadi, founder of Atelier & Repairs, in a statement. “What we did instead was try to add value to it by bringing a sense of joy. A sense of color to these items that were already beautiful.”
Over the past few years, The RealReal reported its consumers are prioritizing sustainability: there has been a 342 percent increase in demand for sustainable brands and the resale value of environmentally-friendly items have strengthened by 1.5x. Green fashion is becoming less of an outlying, fringe practice and ReCollection 01 demonstrates how elevated aesthetics doesn’t necessitate the creation of new pieces. “This is one way the industry can tackle its enormous waste problem. We see the world crying out for change,” said Stella McCartney in an interview with Vogue Business about The RealReal’s capsule. “As a designer, I think it’s the biggest compliment for your designs to have an afterlife — to me, that is luxury.”
Throughout the creation of the capsule, The RealReal also upheld sustainability markers that went beyond the sourcing of materials: no virgin fabrics were used, zero waste was created, production was based solely in the United States, and fair wages were paid to all workers. For the items themselves, they are exclusively one-of-a-kind so if you find something you like, it’s best to shop it quickly. Pricing ranges from $195 to $2,450 for ReCollection 01 and a portion of the sales will be donated to One Tree Planted, a reforestation initiative so you know it’ll be money well spent. Below, you can shop some selects asap, like a floral, reworked tiered Simone Rocha skirt.
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