When they started Designers Remix in 2002, Danish founders and owners Charlotte & Niels Eskildsen set out to create iconic women's garments from other designers' textile remnants, without harming the environment. Did they succeed? COSH! found out for you.
Designers Remix has been contributing to the upcycling mindset for a while now. Since 2002, the clothing brand has been using existing materials and transforming deadstock fabrics and clothing into new garments. Did you know that many rolls of surplus fabric never find a destination? In the fashion industry, an average of about 17 to 22% of the fabric is wasted and thrown away during the cutting process. Designers Remix, therefore, makes use of the remnants of clothes and cuts, transforming them into new yarns and fabrics that can be reused.
For Designer Remix, every design starts with the right choice of fabric. Founders Charlotte & Niels Eskildsen are aware of the large amount of plastic waste and clothing that is dumped in landfills or burned in incinerators every day. The duo, therefore, decided to use 100% recycled polyester. Designers remix therefore also uses pre-consumer recycled wool and cotton. The viscose comes from sustainably managed forests and the cotton is organically labeled. COSH prefers GOTS certification for cotton, in order to guarantee good working conditions, which we, unfortunately, do not find at Designers Remix. We see the sustainable alternative for viscose: Tencel, made by manufacturer Lenzing. The treatment of Tencel requires fewer chemicals and water than viscose. An environmentally friendly option.
Despite big promises on materials, we still see a lot of blends without sustainable fibers. Designers Remix uses recycled polyester, which in itself is the most sustainable as a mono-material. This means that the entire garment is made from recycled polyester only, making it easier to recycle. However, if you do combine recycled polyester with cotton, wool, or another material, it becomes very difficult to remelt clothing after use to make new yarn. The blends of materials will therefore make it difficult to recycle the clothes from Designers Remix.
Recycled polyester will still disperse microplastics when washed. These microplastics are released when synthetic clothes such as polyester are washed, and then end up in our rivers and oceans via wastewater... harming the environment and animals.
Do you have a piece of Designers Remix clothing that you no longer wear? You can send an e-mail to [email protected] with the request to return your clothes. For every piece of clothing you send back, you will receive a 15% discount voucher.
Collecting old textiles only makes sense if the clothes they collected are designed to be recycled. For several garments, Designers Remix uses a mix of different fibers in one garment, which makes recycling almost impossible.
The recycled wool comes from Prato in Italy, where they have been recycling wool for over a century. Other textile surpluses and fabric remnants come from the Italian company Miroglio, which specialises in the production and distribution for sale of ready-to-wear clothing and fabrics. The other fabric makers and textile workers are located a little further from home, namely mainly China, followed by Italy and Romania.
Designers Remix tries to communicate as openly as possible about where their fabrics come from. For each garment, the brand openly shares who the garment maker is and who made the fabric or yarn. For the other parts of a garment such as the buttons, it is unfortunately not yet possible to get the information due to the complexity of the suppliers and supply chains. The list with the origin of the materials is updated twice a year and tells you all the suppliers that Designers Remix works with.
Designers Remix has a long term partnership with some suppliers, but many are also new making it more difficult to guarantee good working conditions.
We see that Designers Remix does not have any certified suppliers. This does not necessarily mean that they are not sustainable. However, getting audited and certified costs a lot of money for a factory or brand. So with smaller brands producing in compact family workshops, you will not often see a certificate attached to a garment. Smaller brands sometimes have more sustainable clothing, but have too small a turnover to be able to afford such a certificate.
Shop the upcycling clothes of Danish fashion brand Designers Remix at the shops on the map below!