Grace Lant is the Hong Kong based British designer repurposing fabrics into timeless, updated basics that work for almost any occasion. The 2020 Redress Design Award Hong Kong Best winner has collaborated with The R Collective and taken IP-sensitive textiles (fabrics with trademarked branding and prints) to create an upcycled collection including a boxy mesh knit collared top and a racer neck dress with a scooped back. “It has an elegant feel – it could be office wear, it could be evening wear. We wanted to create pieces that are elegant and versatile, and that’s what we’ve done, ” says Grace.
The designer has extensive experience in knits, co-founding sustainable knitwear label Love From Blue in 2020. Coupled with her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Knitwear from Central Saint Martins and a Master’s in Creative Knitwear Design from Accademia Costume e Moda in Italy, it’s no surprise the designer repurposed the pieces into stunning knitwear creations. “Really from a design point of view, I just wanted to create pieces that let the yarn do all of the speaking. Pieces that showcase the yarn and the qualities of the yarn. It has a natural sheerness to it when it’s knitted – we exaggerated that on the mesh stitch with the polo shirt.”
The source of the original fibres are IP fabrics, meaning they have been designed with an exclusive, trademarked print and can’t be used for anything else. To save it from being incinerated, these fabrics are shredded back down to fibres, which can then be respun into yarn.
The R Collective founder and CEO Christina Dean noted the importance of rescuing and recycling these valuable materials back into clothes, referring to IP fabrics as “fashion’s hardest textile waste”. To work with these tricky materials, Grace also partnered with High Fashion Group, a modern fashion enterprise and China’s leading garment manufacturer embracing sustainability and innovation. Mr Will Lam, CEO of High Fashion Group, said, “This project demonstrates how we at High Fashion Group can magnify our key expertises in silk recycling, spinning and knitting by working with The R Collective’s challenging rescued textile waste streams, which too often otherwise continue to be incinerated.”
When blending together all these fabrics, the final colour and texture of the fabric is often difficult to predict and almost impossible to replicate. Grace Lant’s final yarn for Recircle was a dreamy jade green colour with a delicate sheen. “Its elegant shine is special and comes from the silk,” explains Grace. The shade of the material came about by chance, while only 100 of each piece were made from the deadstock fabrics. “That’s such a special thing about sustainable design,” Grace muses, “you do end up with something quite unique.”
The Recircle collection is available for pre-order on Kickstarter until October 13.
CreditLead image: Photography & Styling by Love From Blue