The North Face Is Training Designers To Upcycle Old Styles Into New Pieces

mbg Editorial Assistant By Abby Moore
mbg Editorial Assistant
Abby Moore is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.
Women Hiking on a Cloudy Morning

Image by Akela - From Alp To Alp / Stocksy

Outdoor recreation and activewear brand The North Face is one of many fashion brands hoping to change the future of fabric by relying on the past—past materials, that is.

In June 2018, the company launched "The North Face Renewed," a collection of "refurbished clothing remade to explore." The program takes clothing, which has been returned or damaged, and upcycles the materials to be worn again. And now they're launching a residency program to train designers on this concept.

The work takes place in The North Face's renewal workshop in Oregon, where designers help reduce the 85% of textiles that end up in landfills every year. According to a news release, those designers are now invited to attend biannual residency programs where they will "learn the principles of circular design and implement them into future brand collections."

These programs will educate designers on the practical and ethical aspects of product longevity. Designing products to withstand several uses, as well as creatively repurposing overused products, are a couple of actionable ways the team is committing to support the environment. And the result is a limited collection of one-of-a-kind garments.

The residents' first four unique garments were featured in an auction, launched this week. All proceeds from the auction will benefit The North Face Explore Fund, which connects people to the world around them through outdoor adventures. Training a group of designers to value sustainable products without having to "compromise the quality and performance customers have come to expect" is one more reason to appreciate the eco-conscious company.

Using your purchasing powers at like-minded businesses and taking stock of the carbon footprint of your closet are a couple of ways you can help the planet—but, you know, make it fashion.

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