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Y/Project Remakes Bestsellers as Sustainable Statement Pieces

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Designing during quarantine presented Y/Project creative director Glenn Martens with an opportunity for a sustainable do-over.

For Spring/Summer ’21, the luxury streetwear brand is revisiting 16 of its most recognizable pieces from previous seasons and remaking them with sustainable and ethical practices. The Evergreen capsule collection features signature garments—including warped seam jeans, cut-out trousers and shirts with extended collars—remade entirely in the EU with a combination of certified organic and recycled fabrics.

This eco mindset is carried down to the collection’s trims and how the garments are packaged, branded and shipped.

And due to the styles’ proven endurance, the collection will never go on sale. The Evergreen collection will be sold every season alongside the new seasonal styles and be priced consistently with Y/Project’s core line. A percentage of proceeds from the sale of Evergreen garments will also be donated to an ecological charity.

Luxury labels are increasingly turning to sustainable alternatives. A recent report by fashion search engine Tagwalk reported that fully sustainable and upcycled looks were featured about 100 percent more often in F/W 2020 collections than they were in F/W 2019 collections.

However, rather than reinvent the wheel, luxury brands are playing it safe by choosing core items for their sustainable makeover. Gucci recently unveiled Off the Grid, its first collection of nylon basics made with Econyl, a nylon fabric sourced entirely from regenerated materials like discarded fishing nets and carpet flooring.

Y/Project debuted the Evergreen collection this week with its men’s Spring/Summer ’21 collection, which Vogue reported is one-third the size of the brand’s previous collections. Due to the cancellation of Paris Fashion Week Men’s, Martens presented the collection through images and an open letter to press.

“We are privileged to work in a luxury business,” Martens wrote. “We have the luxury of time to think, which entitles us a responsibility. Y/Project wants to take part in the change, building a better future.”

Perhaps another sign of the times, the S/S ’21 line focuses on wearability and versatility—terms that are not often used to describe the brand that created the denim pantie, or “janties.”

“One design can be worn in different ways, creating a different emotion,” Martens wrote. “We encourage our customers to question themselves. How do we feel? How do we want to be perceived?”

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