British Design House VIN + OMI pioneer Sustainable fashion
March 09, 2022
British Design house VIN + OMI has pioneered new sustainable processes in the world of fashion. Science scholars and designers Vin and Omi are unique in the fashion world – they work on a range of sustainable collaborations that challenge brands to think differently and have developed new sustainable processes since 2004. Delve into their work, and you understand their assertion: “We are not just a fashion label, we are an ideology.” Their style is distinctive referencing pop and music culture. Understandably it’s bold, in your face with strong prints and silhouettes that stand out.
Alongside their design work, the duo also does creative and sustainable consultation for global brands and city masterplans outside the fashion industry. Their latest involves taking the ‘old chestnut’ turning it into sustainable leather. The new process has been seven years in development is a new way of working with waste plant material – fusing chestnut pulp to make a durable, waterproof plant leather, a breakthrough in sustainable fashion. Unlike most mushroom and fruit leather, this process does not require artificial additives. This new material was featured at their recent fashion show ART at The Dorchester London, where they also revealed the world’s first dress made from chestnuts. This dress was also showcased during London Fashion Week.
Currently, in residence at The Dorchester, they are working on several sustainability initiatives and projects with the hotel team. Included in this is recycling the hotel’s plastic into fashion scarves and incorporating plant waste into the hotel’s textiles.
This show also featured new innovations from the designer’s ongoing collaboration with Prince Charles that looks at how UK country estates can utilise their waste, thus equipping them with sustainable solutions.
Reveal the duo, “We also showcased two dresses made from Highgrove (Prince Charles’ Highgrove Estate) willow cuttings and a Highgrove nettle jacket. We also turned hard to recycle Highgrove plant pots into jewellery (was shown on the catwalk). These pieces sat alongside recycled Johnstons of Elgin selvedge strips and recycled Jägermeister promotional items. We also used recycled clothing, recycled plastic textile made from the salvaged ocean, and river plastic from the VIN + OMI Foundation clean up schemes. We recycled canvases and portfolios and used paint tubes from leading art brand Daler-Rowney.” Some print outfits were from textile processed from discarded plastic paint tubes.
The design house’s ongoing collaboration with Jägermeister featured an outfit made out of recycled promotional material from the drinks brand, and the hair accessories were from recycled KMS waste salon plastic. The set from the show will be recycled too.