The brand’s R3NU: R3Denim capsule collection invites people to be more sustainable by incorporating off-cut denim with old fabrics, clothing, and trimmings. The R3NU zine, a collection of product photos and articles on sustainability, is a welcome addition.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense to add personal touches to utilitarian garments. You’ll be using them repeatedly for a long period of time, so why not make them visually-appealing and rightfully your own?
And if “adding a personal touch” means reusing old fabrics, clothing, or trimmings to spruce up a jacket, apron, or bag (that’s also made from recycled material), then you’ve won twice over, stamping your individuality and saving the planet in style at the same time.
Enter ucycle’s R3NU: R3Denim capsule collection, a line of utilitarian pieces made from repurposed, off-cut, twill woven denim. The capsule offers three functional items:
The Full Body Apron, which features a three-section chest pocket, two-gusset hip pouches, and button-adjustable shoulder straps that can be worn cross-strap or parallel strap;
The Ultimate Utility Carry, a multipurpose bag with six-snap secured pouches and removable bottom base made of fabric-lined recycled tarpaulin. It is expandable through two-side snaps and secured by durable handles;
And The 3P Work Jacket, a workwear jacket inspired by the shapes and silhouettes of the French chore jacket and the American railroad jacket. It features a three-patch pocket design, single breast pocket, and dual hop pockets. The twill woven denim jacket has a relaxed fit, with contrast stitching, extended collar, and open 5-patinated metal button closure.
While each item may be bought as is, ucycle allows buyers to customize each piece with old clothes, fabric, or trimmings. The possibilities are endless: use an old pillowcase to decorate the pockets, cut up worn-out linen to spruce up jacket lapels, or use old denim jeans to strengthen your carryall’s straps. The pieces are available for purchase in extremely limited quantities on 11.11.21 from 12nn onward through ucycle’s website.
“[The R3NU collection] is about putting style and design first. And by creating clothes that people will be visually drawn to, sustainability can be seamlessly and naturally integrated,” writes Carmela Fortuna, Managing Director of ucycle, on the R3NU zine.
The R3NU Zine?
Yes, you read that right. The debut of the R3NU collection also features the R3NU zine, a lookbook with articles and features on sustainability and upcycling practices.
Carmela admits that the zine was a last-minute decision, though she notes that it aligns with their objective of educating and engaging with customers on circularity and sustainability. “I felt that releasing a lookbook was expected and required of us, but I wanted to find a way to make it more interesting and also more relevant than just a catalog of our items. I wanted to find a way for ucycle to be able to foster a deeper connection and lasting relationship with other people, and also look beyond just promoting the upcoming collection.”
Coming up with the zine’s look and feel was easy for Carmela: she grew up reading magazines like Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Nylon, and Dolly, and she had extensive training in the high street fashion industries in Manila and Tokyo. However, she knew that the zine was going to be a collaborative project. “I was already sure of the contents of the zine the moment I thought about it—from its look, tone of voice, concepts per page, among others. From that I reached out to people I already knew and trusted. Given that [my vision] was clear and communicated to those involved, I just trusted them to breathe life into this vision through their own strengths.
ucycle plans to release the zine quarterly alongside every collection that they will be launching. As with the R3NU: R3Denim capsule collection, the releases will not only feature the collection it will be launched with, but it will also showcase other sustainable initiatives and individuals who are spearheading such movements. “Circularity and sustainability in fashion are fairly new ideas to the Philippines, and through our zine, we invite people to explore these topics and their possibilities,” the managing director adds.
Will zines become a fixture in fashion in the future? While we have seen both multinational and niche brands release zines to make their launches more interesting and engaging, Carmela notes that it will ultimately depend on the brand’s mission and values. “[ucycle wants] to be part of a bigger picture and community, and solely focusing or promoting only our brand and our agenda is not the only thing we’re interested in. I think what stands true for all brands is still one of the most basic things: What do you stand for? What’s your why? What do you want to contribute to your community? Based on this, then perhaps the best medium to communicate these things will make itself known to you in the most natural way.”
The R3NU: R3Denim capsule will be available for purchase in extremely limited quantities this 11.11.21, from 12nn, through their website: https://www.ucycle.com.ph/r3nu. To learn more about ucycle, follow them on Instagram for more details.
Gelo Dionora works with words for a living. He’s worked in education, media, PR, and advertising, and somehow he has found a way to do all four simultaneously. No wonder he always needs coffee. Reach out to him on IG at @angelodionora.