Pictures by Miro Gacic

Rubens is internet hosting a livestreamed-workshop on Sunday, April 25 that can give attention to repurposing, mending knits and the method of finger knitting.

Since launching her eponymous line, sustainability-focused designer Olivia Rubens has been in a position to rely quite a few accomplishments on her CV together with final yr’s win on the Worldwide Expertise Help competitors within the Accountable Trend award class. Rubens additionally lately joined the ranks of Reture, an e-comm platform that connects style creatives with shoppers seeking to give new life to previous clothes and equipment. Along with crafting upcycled items to promote on the location, Rubens may also be tapped to replace items out of your closet, do you have to be so inclined. And on Sunday, April 25 at 11 a.m. EST, she’s internet hosting a livestreamed-workshop by means of Trend Open Studio as a part of Trend Revolution Week. The occasion, which is open for registration now, will give attention to repurposing, mending knits and the method of finger knitting. Upfront of the workshop, we caught up with Rubens to be taught extra about her inventive course of and why she’s captivated with sustainable design.

How has your model advanced from a sustainability standpoint?

All through my BA I used to be extra into gradual style. [Then] I received a contest that was completed by means of Aveda known as “In Your Denims;” there was an enormous pile of denim for us to make use of — it was like Venture Runway, the place they counted down for [the designers] to begin selecting supplies. I made a heavy hand-knit sweater from 15 pairs of denims, and it was extraordinarily rewarding to make one thing totally different from what it initially was. It was difficult to maneuver into upcycling — I used to be extra working with new supplies that have been sustainable and dealing on my dyeing practices. [But] I pushed to experiment extra with upcycling throughout my Masters. I like [working with] denim particularly; I like pulling aside the fibres. There are such a lot of issues you are able to do with it and it’s tremendous enjoyable to work with and remake.

You additionally received the Accountable Trend Award on the Worldwide Expertise Supply competitors in 2020. Are you a naturally aggressive particular person?

I believe I’m naturally aggressive, however it’s extra a contest with myself, nearly. If I’m put right into a sure degree — like with my BA or my Masters — I all the time attempt to do rather well inside that. It’s not competing with others, I simply need to hold pushing myself and reaching the highest of my potential. However this previous yr, I’ve taken time to decelerate; particularly since COVID hit, it’s such as you’re going so quick and doing all these items and you then surprise, “Why am I going so quick?”

How did you get entangled with Reture? Do you suppose this mannequin of creating garments is the way forward for style?

I’m very flattered they requested me to be a part of it. I’m excited to experiment with this totally different enterprise mannequin and assist individuals fall in love with their clothes once more and make it actually particular, or to rework one thing {that a} member of the family might need given them and make it their very own. Whether or not it’s by means of dyeing one thing or making it a patchwork or shredding it and making it utterly totally different, I believe it’s so cool that that is an choice. I believe it’s going to redefine what being a designer is — I believe we could be extra adaptable and open-minded about working with different individuals’s [materials].

I hope that that is the way forward for style; it’s a extremely attention-grabbing means to supply accessibility to individuals who need to assist designers however don’t essentially have the means of shopping for into their current collections. What you see proper now’s individuals doing customized work, and typically they may not have their very own ‘voice’ in that. They’re doing what the consumer desires, interval. What I discover attention-grabbing about that is that the platform permits the consumer to select which designer they like and resolve how a lot design management they need to have; however the level is to get one thing with the designer’s point-of-view.

Designers are anticipated to make cheaper clothes to broaden their market and that’s laborious to do in a accountable means. The way in which that style goes, persons are questioning consumerism and quick style and searching extra in the direction of utilitarian items and taking a look at their wardrobe to rejuvenate it. I’m hoping it will lead an enormous change in how we have a look at our clothes.

The place do you see the way forward for dressing going?

I’ve been pondering a lot about this and about my position within the trade. I like to create these loopy, enjoyable items and I hope that they’ve a cherished life. That’s the purpose. However you possibly can’t assist however surprise about what you’re making from a sustainability standpoint. What I’m combating is that regardless of how a lot criticism that exists across the trade, it’s nonetheless rocking on. And it’s irritating. I’m actually simply hoping individuals suppose extra about what they purchase.

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