Meet award-winning R Designer, Grace Lant, who held the reins on one of our biggest breakthrough capsules. Cue our contemporary knits pieces made using 100% recycled yarns, which boast more innovation than you’ve had hot dinners!
Here Grace spins her own yarn about why we should all be nerdy about knits.
Grace Lant, award-winning designer
Q: What do you love so much about your knit capsule for The R Collective?
I’m in love with the yarns! You won’t be alone in calling me a yarn nerd, but since all of fashion is based on fibres and yarns, to love fashion means to love fibres! I was lucky to be the first R Designer to use The R Collective’s own recycled materials, which we created ourselves. I am an avid lover of knitwear and am always up to speed on sustainable yarn developments and so these incredible recycled yarns were a real first for me.
Q: How did your capsule tackle a tricky waste stream?
The process we went through to create our own 100% recycled silk yarns was a textile recycling industry breakthrough. Firstly, The R Collective rescued IP-sensitive silk waste fabrics, which are highly sensitive fabrics that carry distinctive patterns and prints on them and which are typically hard to reuse as-is by their previous luxury brand owners. So instead of these IP sensitive fabrics to go to waste, or worse to incineration which is still a common way that some businesses manage their IP sensitive waste, we put together an incredible recycling partnership together to recycle silk waste into our own recycled yarns, through R Circular Textiles.
Q: How important was collaboration in getting your capsule from concept to reality?
Collaboration is always key, from the design stage to our recycling and manufacturing partnerships. We have to play to our strengths in partnerships and at The R Collective, as well as design, we’re very good at putting supply chains together to tackle complex waste streams, because we have the access, technical knowledge and experience to create magic! So to achieve this breakthrough silk recycling process, we partnered with High Fashion Group, China’s leading modern silk enterprise that embraces sustainability and innovation. And with my capsule successfully launched, we’re now ramping up and working together in even bigger ways.
Q: What sparked your interest in sustainable fashion?
It was a gradual learning process, understanding the environmental and ethical impacts fashion has and subsequently researching and learning about what must be done to improve the situation. I also like the challenge of designing within the restrictions of sustainable fashion. It dictates the aesthetic, which gives it a unique perspective.
Q: How did taking part in the Redress Design Award sustainable fashion design competition impact you?
It can sometimes be easy to design in a silo, which can limit exposure to new influences, particularly over covid, which is when I took part in the competition and when we were so restricted. For me, being part of this bigger global movement of sustainable designers gives me motivation and a strong sense of mission.