Six brands that use recycled materials

From global luxury bands to independent fashion start-ups, an increasing number of brands across the retail landscape are re-evaluating their production processes and moving towards more circular sustainable business models.

A key driver to the sustainability movement is the use of materials that have been created by recycling old clothes, textile scraps, plastics and other waste that would otherwise end up in landfill or polluting our oceans.  GAIA takes a look at 6 fashion brands that are using recycled materials to create more sustainable collections.  


Coining the slogan ‘Recycle. Reuse. Regirlfriend’, recycling is clearly woven into the DNA of activewear brand Girlfriend Collective. The brand actively encourages their customers to send them old Girlfriend Collective leggings, bras and shorts so they can be upcycled into new pieces. What’s more, core lines within their collections are made from recycled materials including nylon, polyester and fishing nets. 25 bottles are recycled to make their compressive leggings and 11 to make their compressive bras.


When you think of sustainable and ethical luxury fashion, one name that immediately springs to mind is Stella McCartney. Stella has been a pioneer and activist for eco-fashion since she launched her brand in 2001. 20 years later she maintains her commitment to saving the planet with the launch of her 80% sustainable 2021 Spring Collection. The collections were created using upcycled deadstock waste that had been saved over the past 20 years as well as Econyl, a material crafted from plastic bottles and other nylons.  


Gucci first announced their 10-year “Culture of Purpose” sustainability strategy all the back in 2015 which included a focus on reducing waste and scaling up circular approaches. Last year the brand launched their first ever fully sustainable collection, Off The Grid. Genderless luggage, accessories, footwear and ready-to-wear pieces have been crafted from organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials including the trademarked Econyl, a regenerated nylon made from nylon offcuts and pre- and post-consumer waste, such as abandoned fishing nets and carpet.


Danish womenswear brand GANNI speak very candidly about the contradiction between the fashion industry and sustainability. Rather than claiming to be a sustainable brand they identify themselves as striving to be the most responsible version of themselves. GANNI have made a significant commitment both to upcycling old stock and increasing the share of recycled fibres used in their collections. Recycled fabrics found in their collections include polyester and cotton, with wool to be added soon.  


In a bid towards creating a more sustainable future, last winter British Fashion brand JW Anderson launched its first ever line of sustainable bags. The popular Belt-Tote has been re-vamped using canvas material that is made from roughly nine half litre recycled bottles per bag.  


Luxury Fashion power house Burberry took some bold steps last year towards achieving some of their ambitious sustainability goals. The brand rolled out new labelling across all key categories, offering their customers transparency on how each product is meeting certain sustainability credentials. This coincided with the launch of the stunning ‘ReBurberry’ collection; featuring 26 pieces, the collection is crafted from circular materials and sustainable fabrics. The edit includes coats, belt packs, backpacks and the infamous Burberry trench.

Find more from these brands through our Recycled Materials Edit.

About the Author

Kim Matrljan

Kim Matrljan

Founder of GAIA. After working in digital marketing for brands like Vivienne Westwood, Selfridges, COS and Rolex, I realised the fashion industry needed change and I wanted to be part of it.



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