Eco-Friendly Designer Wear: Crafting Sustainability at Lost Generation

Eco-Friendly Designer Wear: Crafting Sustainability at Lost Generation

Sustainability in fashion is a hot topic. In 2024, it seems like everyone is suddenly sustainable. You might even feel that way about Lost Generation. We’ve been around a few years now, but what have we even said so far about being sustainable?

First, let’s talk about what sustainability means for us. The word itself, in the world of manufacturing, is more of an umbrella term for different approaches that a company can make to be sustainable, i.e. to have a less harmful impact on the world. We have always focused on the simplest ways to be sustainable: those that start in our own work room. We operate on a philosophy of creating smaller and smaller pieces so that what might be waste from one product becomes yet another product, then another, until we are left only with scraps. Those scraps, in their tiny form factor, is readily degradable and returns to the earth rapidly.

As we investigate the materials that are even capable of breaking down rapidly when discarded, it became apparent that only natural materials were an option. 100% cotton denim degrades just fine. But have you seen denim with stretch after it’s been in a landfill? Those spandex fibers last long after the cotton is once again dirt. This image was so startling that it helped establish a must for all Lost Generation products going forward:

Natural & degradable materials only. No fossil fuel-based materials ever.

“Synthetic” is the descriptor for fabric which is created from fossil fuels. Polyester, nylon, spandex, vinyl, and the like. Our world is flooded with them, and they are the great drivers of the fast fashion economy, but at what price?

The price is our natural world and way of life.

Microplastics make it into the ocean thanks to the many millions of washing machines, just in the United States, that wash polyester fabrics (i.e. plastic as fabric) which shed those bits of plastic with every wash and every wear. Simply making the choice to not bring more synthetic materials into your home is a big step. Choosing cotton or hemp instead, whether for home goods or apparel, offers you the chance to use pieces that can be maintained, even are mendable, and that over time, don’t continue to do harm to the environment.

We have used leather since day one. It’s a wonderful material that produces very little waste in product manufacturing, that is easy to care for, and can readily last for generations. The leather jacket or bag you buy today can be passed down decades from now. What’s great about leather, too, is that 99% of leather is simply byproducts of the global meat industries–this is why most leather comes from either a cow, pig, sheep, or goat. We have an entire industry that takes this waste product, which would otherwise overwhelm landfills the world over, and craft long-lasting products just like our ancestors have made for millennia.

Why is this an important topic for Lost Generation if everyone else is already talking about sustainability? First, if you know us, you know we go deep. A quick, shallow skim of the topic isn’t our style, and unfortunately, that’s what you’ll find out there by most brands. It’s easy and uncontroversial to just say the words “sustainable” or “ethically-sourced” and hope that your customers never stop to ask, “But what does that mean?”

This article is more of an intro to the topic for us. Future pieces will dive deeper into each aspect that I’ve touched on above, and more. Let’s just say, there’s a lot of meat on this bone.

But even beyond the technicalities of this one brand, another good question is: “Why is it important for a luxury brand to be sustainable?”

Very simply, it’s a matter of responsibility. It’s already a big deal for me to ask you to buy my products and wear my garments. And if you’re willing to do that, I need you to know that I stand for much more than accepting your money. I am creating a suite of products that are each multi-use and designed with the intention of lasting generations. I don’t want these pieces here forever thanks to forever chemicals or fossil fuel fabrics, but instead because they are designed for the long haul using materials that have been road-tested for centuries. We’ll keep digging into this topic more in the coming weeks.

XO,

F

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