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Luxury Fabric Producer Turns Trash Into Premium Textiles With Parley Partnership

Another luxury player is betting on a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.

Premium Italian fabric producer Clerici Tessuto has announced a new partnership with Parley for the Oceans on the production of Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified luxury textiles. The recycled polyester yarns are crafted from marine plastic waste found on beaches, islands and coastal communities.

Parley has risen to prominence as a premier sustainable supplier of ocean plastics, and has gained traction with brands across the globe due to its high-profile association with Adidas. The athletic wear giant launched the Adidas x Parley collection five years ago, beginning with a capsule of upcycled flyknit footwear. By early 2020, Adidas had sold more than 15 million pairs of shoes made with ocean plastics, and it has committed to using only Parley-produced recycled polyesters in all products across its business by 2024.

But the agreement between Parley and Clerici Tessuto notably centers on the creation of premium—not performance—fabrics, bringing ecological innovation to the world of high fashion.

“We often see the fashion industry as a reflection of society, that purpose is the new luxury,” ​Parley founder and CEO Cyrill Gutsch said in a statement. “Clerici Tessuto is ​one of the most important textiles manufacturers in the world for the luxury sector—this partnership strengthens the Parley mission to end the ‘Toxic Age’ and drive forward the ‘Material Revolution’ on a Global scale.”

Clerici Tessuto CEO Stefano Bernasconi said the premium fabric house is committed to helping save the planet for future generations through changes in its products.

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An ocean-themed fabric from Clerici Tessuto's Parley for the Oceans range.
An ocean-themed fabric from Clerici Tessuto’s Parley for the Oceans range. Clerici Tessuto

“Clerici Tessuto is able to produce high quality and lasting luxury fabrics by mixing deep knowledge of the industry, top level creativity and sustainable value chain,” he said. “Parley is an amazing and inspiring movement able to design and realize initiatives focused on changing the perspective and mindset of consumers.”

The textile producer will work to transform the Parley yarns into high-end fabrics for worldwide brands creating women’s wear and beach apparel, he said. “Working together allows the two companies to contribute to the changes required by the fashion industry, enabling a transition toward a circular economy and create a better future by outstanding and impressive initiatives and fabrics.”

Luxury brands are increasingly taking part in the discussions surrounding material innovation and upcycling. In June, Gucci announced the launch of Off the Grid, its first ever collection made by Gucci Circular Lines, a division within the label founded to focus on circular production.

The Off the Grid collection uses recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials. Gucci has entered into a partnership with Aquafil, using its Econyl nylon fabrics made from upcycled fishing nets and carpet waste. The line also repurposes leather scraps from production.

Last fall, Burberry debuted a capsule collection of outerwear, like its iconic Kensington trench coat, made from Econyl, following Prada’s launch of Re-Nylon, a fresh take on its famed nylon bags. The label has committed to making all of its bags moving forward with Reconyl, a version of Econyl that can be recycled indefinitely without quality loss, by the end of next year.