• 26. - 28. February 2021
  • Messezentrum Salzburg

Creating a Circular Economy: Recyclable Fashion Versus Fast Fashion

The cooperation between the Modeschule Hallein and Lenzing AG is facilitating new recycling processes through sustainable design strategies.

 

Text by Verena Raffl, Team Lead, Content- & Brand Manager

©Modeschule Hallein, Lenzing AG
Fashion made from recyclable Refibra fabric 

With their “Fashion and the Recycling Industry” project, Modeschule Hallein together with Lenzing AG is putting a stop to the “fast fashion” industry. The aim is to reinvent and recycle products. This should reduce waste and keep pollution to a minimum and replace the models of a consumer society and throwaway society. The fashion industry, in particular, is affected by so-called throwaway culture, with devastating consequences for the environment. For this reason, more and more consumers and producers are joining up to the zero-waste philosophy. This also applies to the collection by Juliana Eisl and Georg Aldrian from Modeschule Hallein, which is not only impressive thanks to its eye-catching design, but also its unique quality and the demand for complete recyclability.

 

Recyclable is the new black

This was reason enough for the students of the Modeschule Hallein to develop a new concept for recycling cotton. Topics such as the fair production of clothing and related new approaches are developed in its new focus on “sustainable design strategies”. On the one hand, cotton clothing is currently processed almost exclusively with sewing thread and polyester, which means that these seams must be painstakingly removed by hand before the clothes can be recycled. This is why a new approach is needed. On the other hand, the aim of the project was to create innovative and modern collections from Refibra fabrics produced by Lenzing AG and to translate the theme of recycling management into the design. The Refibra fibre is the first cellulose fibre that uses recycled cotton materials in addition to wood as raw material.
 

Sustainably produced clothing

In addition to using recyclable materials, the collection focuses on communicating the advantages of this closed cycle to the consumer.

“Throughout the entire collection, care was taken to ensure that from the fibre to the buttons or hangtag, we only used materials that are either biodegradable or that can be given an afterlife by being reprocessed into Refibra ”, student Juliana Eisl describes. As the name suggests, in the circulation model of waste actually becomes a resource itself and is therefore one of the most sustainable variants in the production of clothing. Even as early as during production, we always question the reuse and biodegradation of what we are producing in order to conserve environmental resources and avoid waste. The result is a fashion suitable for streetwear that speaks for itself and playfully draws attention to the recycling process of the innovative fibre.

 

Social responsibility

Michael Sellinger, Head of Fashion at Modeschule Hallein, conclusively states that: “With new clothes comes great responsibility. The consumer decides which clothes are sold, how long they are in use, how they are reused and recycled or whether they end up in a landfill too soon. As a fashion school, we want to make a contribution to positive, sustainable change with these kinds of projects and give our students expertise in this area, in particular on their way into the real world of work.”