Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed. This 18th-century quote is as relevant as ever at a time when upcycling is taking root as a long-term, more eco-friendly alternative in the fashion industry.
Waste itself is proving to be an essential new raw material for brands wishing to reduce their environmental footprint, like Sans Les Plumes, which transforms seating textiles from Paris public transport into urban footwear.
Waste is now an integral part of the fashion industry. From potato chip packets to shrimp shells to leftover sashimi, the fashion industry, like many other sectors, is getting creative in making new use of by-products and waste items that were once destined for landfill.
This practice, called upcycling, not only reduces waste and pollution, but also limits the need for new raw materials – a boon for one of the world's most polluting industries.
Founded in 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, the Sans Les Plumes brand is not content simply with offering one-off collections made from waste or fabric scraps.
It has instead made upcycling part of its DNA.
Its urban slip-ons, not to be confused with the espadrilles they may resemble, are handcrafted from the fabrics used on the Parisian subway and tram network.
It's a surprising and innovative project that gives a new life to these once abandoned fabrics. And the brand doesn't stop there, as it also offers indoor slippers made of woven velvet from the surplus of various projects, such as seating in the Palais Du Nouveau Siecle auditorium, or other French opera houses and theatres.
Sans Les Plumes specifies on its official website that it only uses French raw materials otherwise destined to be discarded – something that inevitably gives rise to limited product series.
Created by Frederic Lagouarre, the brand also favors resistant and sustainable materials, in a more global way, opting for entirely biodegradable and natural heels and rope, and relying on the expertise of craftspeople to make them.
Indeed, at least eight manual steps are involved in making the finished product. Now, it's over to you to choose the design of your favorite subway or tram line. – AFP Relaxnews