Styling together an outfit is all about mixing together complimentary patterns, textures, fits and colors. I don’t always mix more than one pattern in one getup unless they are similar enough without being overwhelming (maybe one is muted down a bit). However, when the same is all considered in the production of one garment, things can get even more interesting! Patchwork is one of those fun mixed-media ideas in terms of designing a piece, and perhaps brings a bit of nostalgia, either from grandma’s quilts or recycling fabrics to make a perfect pair of bell bottoms in the 1970s. It’s a cool category in the denim industry that is always around, but seems to poke its head out from time to time every few years as a new trend. It can be used to portray just about anything from a bold, rebellious street style to a laid-back, friendly aesthetic. It’s been awesome to see how brands get creative with all the ways to create a unique pair of jeans in such a saturated market, and patchwork is always a bright go-to when stuck in a style rut or when you’re just feeling stylishly playful.
For so long, I was shifting my focus more to independent, slow fashion brands, because there were so many more of them doing their part to adopt more ethical and sustainable practices than the big, well-established retailers. However, lately the bigger ones are catching on as demand rises and shoppers realize how important it is to re-evaluate the way we leave our mark on this planet. Every step forward, big or small, is so important for the big picture, but seeing the brands with more power in the game changing their game is so refreshing to see. Some brands were established with more ethical and sustainable signs on the get go, like Alternative, Matt & Nat and Reformation, but I’ve seen fairly new efforts from Aerie, MOTHER denim, BLANKNYC and even H&M over the last few years. The latest to take things in a better direction is Gap!
The sustainable movement continues on within the apparel industry (yessss), and seems to be ramping up exponentially every day! Many brands are seeking out more eco friendly raw materials such as organic cotton, hemp and bamboo, and several are looking within their own manufacturing processes themselves to clean up from the inside out, from reducing water and chemical usage to cutting down on waste. Recycling seems to be a growing practice as we start to realize the growing concern of limited resources and expanding landfills. I’m seeing so many brands recycling pre- and post-consumer waste recently and as much as I love sustainable raw materials, I’m absolutely stoked to see attention given to this area as well since we definitely need to pay attention to consumption itself. About twice a week or so, I’m seeing new brands or capsule collections from existing brands popping up featuring goods made from recycled materials, and the latest comes from one of the pioneers in denim, a collection aptly named 60% MOTHER.
Yeah, I know, I just wrote about BLANKNYC it seems…although it’s been about a month and a half. It’s tough to not keep writing about your favorites when they continue to churn out such amazing work! I’m a huge fan of this brand because of their rebellious rock n’ roll attitude and edgy pieces with plenty of detail and flair, all at prices that won’t break your wallet. I’m also fond of them for their vegan leather pieces, which I always run for when I’m shopping in that category due to their high quality and durability (usually fake leather peels and cracks so soon and easily, resulting in a huge mess). It’s been satisfying seeing them as a great contender for vegan fashion, but I’m really excited right now to see them take their sustainability stance a bit further.