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The trash mountains being turned into sustainable fashion in Russia

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Trash mountains are being recycled into clothes in Russia
Trash mountains are being recycled into clothes in Russia   -   Copyright  Getty via Canva

In the world of fashion, the SS21 strategy for brands is sustainability.

Increasingly, we’re seeing household names take to the runways with reducing, reusing and recycling in mind.

For this fashion house in St Petersburg, the inspiration has come from landfill. More specifically, how the sprawling mountains of rubbish located on the outskirts of towns and cities have become a testament to our 21st Century throw-away culture.

99Recycle exclusively sources plastic from landfill sites to create its products. The current roster includes a range of bags and pencil cases, through to skateboards and even a bike produced from recycled plastics via 3D printing.

99Recycle
99Recycle makes products from skateboards to backpacks99Recycle

The key focus? To create sustainable fashion that’s financially viable.

Olesya Kulik, designer at 99Recycle, explains the time-consuming process behind finding the material and transforming it into a wearable or usable item.

"The process of preparing the materials is more complicated than for ordinary materials. Most of our time is taken up by the preparation, because we need to clean it, to make it even, to select it, to reject some materials."

Inside the factory, workers hand-stitch the pieces together - each is unique in its makeup.

99Recycle
Employees hand crafting the 99Recycle garments99Recycle

Working with charities

The brand works alongside various charities who support in their quest to collect plastic.

Covers for Kindness is one of these. The organisation gathers old plastic lids or covers, sorts them according to colour, and delivers them to 99Recycle. According to Maria Kutuzova, head of the project, they have collected over 70 tonnes of plastic so far.

For the brains behind the brand, the focus is always on helping the environment. Anton Rykachevskiy, co-founder of 99Recycle says, "Globally, humanity needs to resolve the garbage problem, there is no way around it.

“A lot of trash is appearing, and we take on the role of guys who inspire everybody around us. We take something that seems to be garbage. Now people call it recyclable materials, it's good. And we create cool, exceptional things, which weren't previously made of recyclable materials."

Watch our video to find out more.

Video editor • Aisling Ní Chúláin