Emerging designers, Kévin Germanier and Victor Chu are the charming design duo behind The R Collective’s inaugural Trailblazer Collection. First competitors - they were each winners of Redress’ 2015 sustainable design competition cycle - then companions and now creative collaborators, their sustainable design trajectory is straight out of a story book. Kévin, fresh from London’s Central St Martins, and Victor, fresh from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, upcycled their way to bring The R Collective (previously called BYT) onto the hallowed rails of Lane Crawford and Barneys New York.
Their prize - to create our Trailblazer Collection - then came to life. The duo were partly inspired by a discarded, boxy and outdated jacket found years ago by Christina Dean, The R Collective’s Co-Founder, in a filthy dumped clothing bin. Back then, this jacket was resuscitated back into fashion service by DIY fashion expert, Geneva Vanderzeil, who conceptualised a DIY transformation that demonstrated how creativity can reimagine ‘waste’. Building on this shared belief, Kévin and Victor reinvent aspects of this original jacket at the drawing board to create a modern, timeless with a twist interpretation of classic silhouettes, including blazers, bikers and trench coats. They used impeccable luxury brand’s fabric waste, including tweed, wool, cady crepe, satins, laces and brocades. With the fabrics’ test certificates in hand and the help of our trusted manufacturing partners, TAL Apparel, The R Collective was ready to begin.
Their resulting collection brings that unique twist to classic silhouettes for today’s fast-living, fashion-loving women. Continuing on their winning streak, their collection was retailed by Asia’s leading department store, Lane Crawford. Shortly after, the duo enjoyed their US retail debut with their exclusive collection, featuring masterfully patch-worked rescued luxurious brocades, for Barneys New York.
Not only does this story celebrate sustainable design creativity but also environmental theory. In line with The R Collective’s mission to create beautiful clothes whilst protecting the environment, our partners RESET Carbon conducted a carbon footprint life cycle analysis from raw materials to factory to estimate the collection’s carbon savings. Results suggest that a typical The R Collective upcycled jacket has a 60% reduced carbon footprint compared with a similar jacket created using virgin materials, which is equivalent to diverting 14,882 plastic bottles from landfill. Not sure about you - but we’re sold!