Reimagine, Recreate and Restore. Reflecting on World Environment Day

They say adversity can be the making us - and if the turbulent past year has proven anything, it’s just how true this is. 2020 has helped us rediscover our agency, proving the capacity of us all- governments, businesses and individuals alike- to adapt and enact real change in times of crisis. 
World Environment Day marks a time to reflect and refocus, turning our attention to another global emergency- the increasingly urgent need to restore the Earth's ecosystems. 
This year's event is particularly significant- signalling the start of the United Nation’s Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. This is a 10-year push to halt and reverse the decline of the natural world’, and it can’t come soon enough. Ecosystem degradation is already affecting the well-being of at least 3.2 billion people – 40% of the world’s population.¹
However, there is hope. If we can meet the UN’s goal of restoring 350 million hectares of damaged lands over this period, we can turn the tide on degradation and create up to $9 trillion in net benefits globally. That’s why this year's event is all about encouraging people to get creative about making a change, in every walk of life.
Emboldened by this emergent spirit of community and resilience, we at The R Collective want to take the time to celebrate climate innovation in the world of fashion. United by a common goal, we’re committed to finding new ways to reimagine, recreate and restore the world in which we live.
Our data analyst, Natalie Fung wearing our Bermondsey Pants

While it can seem worlds apart from tree-planting and ocean-cleaning initiatives, the fashion world has a major role to play in order to restore ecosystems across the globe. One of the most polluting industries on Earth, the rag trade must take a long overdue look at the consequences of irresponsible garment production.
By using only rescued, reused and recycled fibres we can avoid the need to create virgin materials for clothes - and having rescued 82,000 yards of textile waste from landfill, The R Collective knows first hand that there’s plenty to go around! 
Approaches like this radically minimise the fashion industry’s impact on climate change, water pollution and land use, and mark a major step forward in helping restore these damaged ecosystems.
How can I make a difference?
Make sure to keep an eye out for ethically grown or sourced fibres when shopping, and make your voice heard - hold the fashion industry accountable for its role in environmental degradation. 
A sustainable future for fashion demands a drastic departure from the linear production cycle we have adhered to in the last 150 years. The rise of fast fashion has sent garment production and waste skyrocketing - and Co2 pollution rates with it.
Did you know that 80% of a garment’s environmental impact is locked in at the design stage? Luckily, reimagining radical alternatives to the way we think about design is our favourite challenge!
Initiatives like our sister charity’s annual Redress Design Award are one great way we are beginning to see change in the fashion industry. Fostering innovation and education in the next gen of fashion, a growing multitude of young designers are equipping themselves with the tools to make a difference.
We are proud to collaborate with Redress alumni in our annual capsule ranges - envisioning bold, stylish collections that are shaking up fashion’s status quo.
How can I make a difference?
Support young sustainable designers, and break fast-fashion’s hold by investing in future-proof pieces that excite you!


Our data analyst, Natalie Fung wearing our Bermondsey Pants 


Transforming under-utilised environmental resources is a key focus this year- seeing city landscapes converted into green oasis’s, suburban backyards turned into life-supporting biomes, and abandoned coal mines adapted into carbon-rich grasslands.

So, how can we translate this ethos of re-creation to fashion? 
We believe that opportunities to reuse and capitalise on our resources exist everywhere- often where we least expect them. Adapting and recreating your clothes is one small action that can make a big difference. One upcycled piece from The R Collective, such as our archive-transforming Refashioned collection, represents a 60% reduced carbon footprint than a garment made from new. 
How can I make a difference?
Take a class in sewing or jump on the visible mending train- embrace up-cycled to keep textiles in the fashion loop for longer.
Discover more about the initiatives of World Environment Day, and how we can educate ourselves on environmental degradation and restoration here. Join us as thousands of citizens and organizations from around the world raise their voice to join #GenerationRestoration!


¹ Facts & Figures, World Environment Day

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