The way we have been consuming fashion for the last few decades has come at a huge expense to environmental, social, and economic health. In line with BETA’s aim to pave a new path in sustainability, the Future From Waste Lab rewrites the rules and looks beyond the fashion industry’s current boundaries to present a radical new retail model that is part of the solution.
The fashion industry is at a crossroads of ecological issues – from poor treatment of workers to pollution. According to The United Nations Environment Programme, the fashion industry produces more carbon emissions than the airline and maritime industries combined, as well as 20% of global water pollution (it takes over 7,500 litres of water to produce the average pair of jeans). Driven by fast fashion and hyper-consumerism, we’re buying more clothing and keeping it half as long; yet less than 1% of all clothing produced globally is recycled. Not only is this environmentally devastating, but it also represents a US$500 billion missed opportunity for the fashion industry to embrace a circular economy
Reframing the way we think about clothes we no longer love or need is crucial in circuit breaking the way the industry currently operates. The Future From Waste Lab offers an innovative solution to closing the loop, creating a dynamic platform in which sustainable fashion brands can experiment with new forms of physical space, programming and business models. Instead of a shop selling off-the-shelf pieces, the Future From Waste Lab repurposes existing apparel on-site, extending the life cycle of used garments and creatively reinterpreting waste.
The retail environments of the future might aim to cultivate a deeper understanding of the true value of clothing and bring pre-owned, repurposed and re-sold clothing into the mainstream luxury fashion vernaculars.
The Future From Waste Lab, a concept created by sustainable fashion pioneer, Kit Willow, tests this idea as four of Australia’s leading designers, also curated by Kit Willow, transform used clothes on-site. The pieces are washed, unpicked, recut, redesigned, modelled, photographed, uploaded to e-commerce, sold, packaged and shipped – all from within Hanover House.
Transforming the way clothes are made, sold, and used, The Future From Waste Lab lays down a blueprint for the disruptive approach to retail that will be realised in the STH BNK project. We are determined to sow the seeds for a seismic shift in thinking, diverging from the traditional linear narrative of ‘buy, wear, dispose of’ into a fashion future that is sustainable, circular, and transparent.