You've already seen it all over Instagram. But it turns out there's a lot more to Fall 2020's patchwork trend besides its eye-catching funky aesthetic. With sustainability continuing to be a hot topic in the fashion industry, many brands are figuring out ways to produce clothes while being environmentally friendly. Piecing together old scraps of fabric happens to be one simple way.
"Beyond the obvious trend and nostalgia of the '90s, there is, in the concept of patchwork the idea that nothing is thrown away," Luisa Orsini, co-designer of TL180, tells TZR. "Everything is preserved and used and this is deeply in line with the increasing awareness on sustainability in the world of fashion." It's a style whose resurgence is in part thanks to Emily Bode, whose menswear brand Bode gained a cult following for quilted designs. During the Fall/Winter 2020 collections, this pieced-together trend took on many, many forms. Marni exhibited a matching set consisting of a floor length duster jacket over a mini dress (shown below), at Missoni a cozy belted trench coat was displayed, and Alexander Wang featured an abstract patchwork suit. The trend can also be found in the fall collections of smaller, contemporary designers, too.
For Caroline Smithsone, creative director of Ssōne, working in the fashion industry for over 20 years gave her a view into the amount of waste not only in textiles, but of many designers' developments, time, energy, and focus. After encountering this, the brand launched Re-Ssōne, a zero waste initiative. "I felt drawn to slowing down the process of garment manufacture, I wanted to spend more time on the product to be aware of the hands that touch each garment that we wear and to call those people out and be grateful to them." The London-based label uses Kantha, a craft techniquedeveloped by women in the rural villages of eastern India that involves stacking fabrics and emboridering them together. "What excited me about the Kantha technique was that we weren’t creating more waste for landfill but in fact recycling our leftover cloth and embroidering them into new unique fabrics," Smithsone explains.
To learn more about the ways in which brands are pinoeering this trend, below find seven labels to turn to for this sustainable, yet stylish look.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Brand To Shop The Patchwork Trend: Bode
Designed by Emily Adams Bode, indie label Bode is known for its patchwork jackets and bowling shirts made from quirky cool repurposed quilts. Launched in 2016, the New York-based label has accumulated an impressive celebrity clientele (see: Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, and Bella Hadid) who sport its signature patchwork quilted tops and jackets. (This is your cue to go snag one, stat.)
Brand To Shop The Patchwork Trend: Ciao Lucia
"I think bohemian fabrics are slowly making a comeback in fashion, there is a handmade quality to patchwork that one can appreciate," Lucy Akin, designer of Ciao Lucia, tells TZR. Akin was inspired by the Laurel Canyon when creating her California-based brand's patchwork pieces, and says they have a nostalgic '70s feel to them. "When I discovered the fabric, I started drooling over it immediately and knew I had to make something with it! We had the pant and jacket already developed and my gut told me we had to make a matching set." Los Angeles influencer Courtney Trop of @alwaysjudging, a friend of Akin's, has been wearing the Pietro Pant Patchwork styled with a bikini top (above). "We’ve had customers in colder places pairing the jacket back to a great pair of vintage jeans," Akin says.
Brand To Shop The Patchwork Trend: Munthe
At its show in Copenhagen for Fall/Winter 2020, Munthe exhibited a new way to wear flannel shirt jackets — remixed together. Its patchwork iteration is a fresh approach to the fall staple that still manages to keep the essence of the original design. Above, the cotton shirt was styled over a graphic tee paired with leather bottoms and thigh-high boots. If you're looking for an easy, chic outfit to create this season, this runway-approved look is it.
Brand To Shop The Patchwork Trend: Ssōne
"Patchwork has always been on trend for me," Smithsone says. The creative director has been collecting vintage blankets for as long as she can remember. "I think there is a shift now for people to go back to nature, there is an air of wholesomeness again now and patchwork evokes that mood. People are swapping harsher city trends for softer natural textiles." Included in the brand's Re-Ssōne zero-waste initative are its Kantha Jacket, Malin Jeans, and Malin Shirt, and Astrid Shirt.
Brand To Shop The Patchwork Trend: Gauntlett Chang
Gauntlett Chang is co-signing the patchwork flannel top for fall and the brands staples have caught the eye of NYC trendsetters. Brooklyn-based concept store Sincerely, Tommy is carrying the brand's Baggy Double Plaid Top, featuring multiple plaid fabrics pieced together. Bonus: the top comes with matching trousers. Throw on the coordinating look and you have an ensemble that's equally suitable for working from home or Saturday afternoons in the park.
Brand To Shop The Patchwork Trend: TL180
"We have always loved to work with patchwork, both with bags and knitwear," Antonine Peduzzi, co-designer of TL180, tells TZR. "To dig into our archives, assembling shapes and colors, giving them a new identity, a new strength, with infinite possibilities of combination is always really exciting for creativity." She says there's a magical aspect of two materials spontaneously joined together. And the brand doesn't believe in fast fashion, which adds to its reasoning for creating patchwork pieces. "Indeed, if we like a material, a leather, a color, it does not pass us through the seasons, and the patchwork allows us to reinterpret by always telling a new story."
Brand To Shop The Patchwork Trend: Patagonia's Worn Wear
There's a process behind Patagonia's line of Worn Wear. Each garment is made from used garments diverted from landfills, sorted at its repair center, designed by a team, and deconstructed and sewn in Los Angeles. Make a purchase you can feel good about (and feel good in) by buying one of its colorful patchwork tees or sweater.