The RealReal has always been committed to bringing second-hand luxury fashion to new life, and the resale retailer's goal has now been expanded. The company has partnered with eight luxury brands to launch an upcycled collection that repurposes distressed or damaged clothing into new, one-of-a-kind luxury items.
The RealReal's new upcycling programme, called ReCollection, will allow the retailer to connect customers with products that would otherwise be too damaged to sell. Atelier & Repairs, a Los Angeles-based circular fashion project, upcycled the pieces in the first edition of ReCollection to produce new pieces without using any virgin fabrications, resulting in a zero-waste operation.
The aim of the RealReal is to keep high-end products in circulation. Prior to ReCollection, the company followed this aim by reselling luxury goods and providing repair services for clothing, fine jewellery, accessories, and watches. The RealReal will now expand the life cycles of defective objects that would otherwise be discarded if not altered by upcycling.
More than 50 pieces from A-Cold-Wall, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Jacquemus, Simone Rocha, Stella McCartney, Ulla Johnson, and Zero + Maria Cornejo are reimagined in ReCollection. Each of the designers contributed pieces for the series. Every object has since been transformed into a one-of-a-kind piece that highlights the importance of giving clothing a second life. The original work of the designers has been extended in new ways that add new value while eliminating waste.
In a press release Stella McCartney commented that as a designer, she believes having an afterlife for the work is the highest compliment to her, that is luxury. And I take it into account right at the start of the process. The design's timeless quality, as well as how it's made and the materials used to make it, are all part of Stella McCartney's ethos. They put a lot of work into making sure that their goods don't end up in landfills.
Julie Wainwright, the CEO and founder of RealReal added that having such a diverse community of luxury brands participate in their first collection sends a powerful message about the value of circularity and the potential they all have to contribute to a more sustainable future for fashion. They believe that ReCollection would encourage people to consider the afterlife of their possessions and to engage in more deliberate consumption.
The upcycled items range from ready-to-wear for women and men to accessories and quilts, all made with the same American craftsmanship that inspired the collection. Prices range from 195 to 2,450 dollars, with a portion of the proceeds going to support global reforestation efforts by One Tree Planted.
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