Haute RE Magazine

Back to the future of fashion

Plant and Pomegranate Hoodie Photo credit: VOLLEBAK/Sun Lee

Vollebak channels the prehistoric catwalk

Founded by twins Nick and Steve Tidball, Vollebak is a UK design company with a twin love for science and nature. They’ve made T-shirts with ceramics from the International Space Station, and a sweater made from old bulletproof vests. Steve explains the philosophy behind one of the world’s leading-edge sustainable clothing manufacturers.

Garbage Watch by Vollebak, part of the Wallpaper Re-Made project

There are three ways to tackle sustainable clothing. You can use advances in material technology to make clothes with a longer life expectancy than the people wearing them. You can start digging into waste and trash streams to use the stuff people have already generated and discarded. Or you can go back to using nature to make clothes that require as little energy as possible and leave no trace of their existence at the end of their lives.

With our 100 Year range, our Garbage Watch, and Plant and Pomegranate Hoodie, we’re tackling all three routes at the same time.

Interestingly we don’t view sustainability as an advancement. 5,000 years ago humanity already had sustainable clothing. Otzi Man [a mummified corpse found in the Alps] was dug up wearing deer skin, grass and tree bark. His clothes were made entirely out of nature and would simply return to nature when he died.

So in terms of making sustainable clothing, we have some way to go just to catch up with where we’ve already been as a species.

Vollebak Garbage Sweater. Photo credit: VOLLEBAK
Garbage dumps, Lagos. Photo Credit: VOLLEBAK

Photo credits: VOLLEBAK/Sun Lee