Sustainable fashion is the future. It’s also the defining philosophy of some of Ukraine’s best up-and-coming brands
Fashion is a fast-moving industry, but fundamental change takes time. One of the biggest changes taking place in the fashion world today is the move from consumerism to conscious consumption, or ‘mindful buying’. The past decade has seen a gradual consumer shift towards brands whose ethics and philosophies are built around ethical concepts. In particular, sustainability.
One sub-trend of sustainability is upcycling: reusing existing materials or clothing to create a higher-quality product with a unique design. There are huge benefits to wearing upcycled pieces and supporting their makers: firstly, you can be sure that you won’t meet anyone wearing the same outfit, since no two pieces are the same. Secondly, you can rest assured that your garment was made with minimum impact on the planet.
As eco-conscious fashion makes waves in Ukraine, What’s On Kyiv introduces you to two of the most exciting Ukrainian brands to have embraced sustainable production practices.
Although you might not know it, you have definitely seen Ksenia Schnaider’s designs on A-list celebrities like Dua Lipa, Celine Dion, and Ellie Goulding, as well as supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid. How did the story start? The brand was founded by a couple, Ksenia and Anton, back in 2011. They got a lot of global traction in 2016 with the release of their signature upcycled jeans, demi-denims (bit.ly/2WSCCJe) – a hybrid of full-length jeans and denim shorts. To make one pair of demi-denims, you need three pairs of vintage full-length jeans. Each pair is unique. The whole collection is based on vintage pieces, which allows the brand to maintain sustainable production.
Ksenia Schnaider has womenswear, menswear, and sportswear lines, as well as collaborations with partners like ISKO to produce signature items using materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester (made from PET bottles). Their designs look fresh and innovative, and each item can be perceived as a completely new piece.
Second-hand clothes and fairytales are the main sources of inspiration for Yasia Khomenko, the founder of RCR Khomenko. Among the brand’s signature items are sweatshirts with bright, playful prints and t-shirts with arty patterns. Their website features a passionate mission statement to create a “Church of upcycling”, where people “will remake their clothes to the very end”. Clearly, eco-consciousness is the lifeblood of RCR Khomenko. In a recent interview for DTF magazine, Yasia revealed that she plans to launch a second brand, also with upcycling and sustainability as core values.