In response to the climate change crisis accelerated by fast fashion, the fashion industry is gradually turning to sustainable practices. One such designer contributing to this shift is Chris Mena, the owner of the high-end sustainable fashion brand “Meena” based in New York. For his fall 2023 collection, Chris innovatively crafted a line of jackets utilizing discarded gunny bags.
Recycle & Reuse
Documenting the process in a video, Chris begins by collecting the gunny bags and employing a heat machine called DigiHeat to line them with interface fabric. He incorporates polar fleece for jacket lining and utilises leftover leather scraps to create a pattern on the jacket. After determining the jacket’s shape, Chris meticulously sews the entire garment together.
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Concluding the video, Chris announces the availability of the gunny bag jackets on his website. Priced at $2,400 for the bomber-style, $1,400 for the M65-style, and $750 for the denim jackets, these unique pieces are part of Mena’s “From the Street” collection, which debuted at this year’s New York Fashion Week, as indicated by her LinkedIn profile.
“From the Street” collection
The “From the Street” collection, crafted to spotlight the potential of recycling trash into garments, questions why the fashion industry isn’t prioritising closed-loop systems. All the ready-to-wear items in the collection are crafted from refuse gathered from the streets of New York. Transitioning to another example, Nigerian designer Adejoke Lasisi’s brand Planet 3R is renowned for transforming plastic waste into clothing and accessories.
How it started! VS How it ended!
Pure water sachets. Foldable stool
This foldable stool had saved 107 pure water sachets waste from ending up on the landfill and oceans. pic.twitter.com/I5gWA7FHxR
— Planet 3R 🌍♻️ (@Planet3r) September 25, 2021
In Lasisi’s methodology, plastic waste undergoes initial shredding before being intricately woven with other textile waste to produce traditional Yoruba fabric.
All set for the #NationalYouthDay Maiden Edition.
Rocking my woven pure water sachets waste😘
— Adejoke Lasisi 🇳🇬 (@AdejokeLasisi) November 1, 2020
During her conversation with Reuters, she expressed, “In my community, I observed that people often indiscriminately dispose of their waste, even resorting to burning, causing adverse effects on our environment and health. Contemplating how I could address this issue with the weaving skills inherited from my mom, I began utilising the problematic waste in the community to not only craft products but also generate empowerment opportunities.”