From up-cycling to second-hand stores, this is the circular economy we should be striving for


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For a long time now, luxury companies have fought against the consignment industry (remember, when Chanel sued The Real Real for selling counterfeits?). But in this new reality, brands are called upon to lay the foundations for change, because a circular fashion economy is not just the way forward, but the only way forward. Here's everything you need to know about three groundbreaking initiatives, from Miu Miu, Gucci and Levi’s.

Upcycled by Miu Miu collection

After the success of the Prada Re-Nylon project, she has just launched a new sustainable project, Upcycled by Miu Miu collection, creating 80 unique dresses from her vintage finds (she has always been a fan of antique and thrift stores), embellishing old designs with her signature shimmering sequins, crystals, beads and bows. For those who want a taster, you can catch a glimpse of what’s to come with a couple of red carpet debuts of the collection. Last weekend at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, 19-years-old Italian actress, Elisa Visari wore an orange 1960s cocktail dress - pimped up with silk puff sleeves, crystals and pearls. WhileChinese rising fashion star, Chen Ran took her turn on the digital red carpet in a burgundy evening gown (a reworked piece from the 1930s, with a sequin collar and crystal embroidery). The limited edition designs will be available in selected Miu Miu boutiques starting from late November.


Gucci x TRR Shop

The Florentine house has teamed up with the consignment platform The Real Real, to deliver an authenticated curation of preloved Gucci items. Most are just like new, just without the price tag, and they come from both consignors’ wardrobes or the brand’s old stock.

“Gucci is at the forefront of driving the fashion industry to become more sustainable, so having them recognise the role of resale and The RealReal in creating a more sustainable future is really powerful,” says The RealReal’s founder and CEO, Julie Wainwright. “By encouraging their community to shop resale, Gucci will help us bring more people into the circular economy and show that resale is complementary to brands.”

What's more, for every item bought and sold, Gucci and The Real Real will plant a tree through One Tree Planted Program. The project is a test for both companies, and is set to run until the end of the year, though we have hopes it'll continue past then.

Levi’s Second-hand

Levi’s jeans and denim jackets are one of the best finds in thrift and vintage stores. In a bid to keep second-hand stuff in circulation, Levi's will be buying your old bits and selling them on. It's only available in the US at the moment, where customers can trade in their old jeans or jackets in exchange for a gift card (from $15 to $25, depending on the quality of the preloved denim), but there's rumours it'll come here too.

“60% of Gen Z shops secondhand. They love the hunt, they love finding a really unique item, and it makes it even better that it’s a sustainable choice,” explains Jen Sey, Levi’s’ chief marketing officer, who hopes that the initiative will help attract the younger customer. “Buying a used pair of Levi’s saves approximately 80% of the CO2 emissions, and 1.5 pounds of waste, compared to buying a new pair. As we scale this, that will really start adding up.”

images | miumiu

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