The R Collective is a social impact upcycled fashion brand founded by sustainable fashion advocate, Christina Dean. Their mission is to minimising waste, and to do this, the brand creates beautiful clothes using waste materials that was born from Redress, the pioneering Hong Kong based charity started in 2007.
Why do you work in sustainable fashion?
I’ve been in the sustainable fashion battle trenches for 13 years, mainly in Asia, and working in this sector is all that I love and hate about fashion. We know that the fashion industry will continue to expand with the growing population and so the race is on to find ways that this can happen whilst not completely destroying our shared resources. So I continue to work in sustainable fashion because I believe it’s an urgent area of environmental activism.
Tell us about one item of clothing from your closet that embodies sustainable fashion.
Wracking my brains… but I have too examples to many to mention, since pretty much everything in my closet is second (third, who is counting) hand, upcycled or recycled.
What do you think is the biggest achievement of the sustainable fashion movement?
That we can say ‘sustainable fashion’ with maintream people don’t look back at you with a perplexed expression – like you’re some idealistic treehugger. Sustainable fashion is now mainstream and it’s pursuit is now credible, from a social, environmental, economic and political perspective.
With regards to making progress towards building a sustainable fashion industry, who do you want to thank and why?
Orsola de Castro – she speaks from the heart with insight, experience, love and a viscerable understanding and vision of how fashion ought to / must be.
Tell us a story about a sustainable fashion industry in 2030 – a day in the life of a worker, a consumer, through the lens of your business, etc.
“I woke up, opened my well curated closet, filed with purposeful buys of safe, durable and design-driven clothes. It was so easy to decide what to wear, since my closet really reflected my life, values and aspirations -as well as my ‘real’ bum size, not phantom size! Dressing made me feel armed for the day – knowing that I was stepping out with my ethical values on my sleeve.”