Osman Yousefzada’s starting point for his spring/summer 2022 collection was asking himself, “what happened to last season’s clothes” as he moves towards creating clothes with a purpose beyond satisfying commercial demand.
The result was what the designer calls a “journey into biodegradable clothing” and a capsule collection of 15 looks made from Tencel Luxe, a sustainable alternative to silk from the Lenzing Group, made from sustainably sourced wood pulp.
Tencel Luxe is certified as biodegradable and registered with the Vegan Society and is being pitched as a “truly sustainable alternative to silk” as the cellulosic filament is made from a renewable raw material that thrives with natural rainfall and sunlight.
As well as being derived from wood grown in renewable, sustainably managed forests, in keeping with the stringent guidelines of the Lenzing Wood and Pulp Policy, it is also produced in an environmentally sound closed-loop process that recycles process water and reuses the production solvents at a recovery rate of more than 99 percent.
Commenting on becoming more sustainable, Yousefzada said in a statement: “We need to let go of the all-or-nothing attitude to sustainability and just try to do better. It is essential that designers and brands are consistently looking for ways to reduce their impact on the planet by pro-actively seeking fabrics that have less impact on the planet is its people, and pursue more ethical practices. That’s all. Just keep taking steps in the right direction.
“The advent of Tencel Luxe filaments brings a whole host of potentially better choices. I was amazed at the versatility of the Tencel Luxe filament. Its ability to be blended with other fibres means that there is infinite scope for designers and brands that want to take steps to be more sustainable and ethical without compromising on luxury, quality or possibility.”
Osman Yousefzada collaborates with Tencel Luxe for spring/summer 2022
Putting the new sustainable textile advancement into practice, Yousefzada worked closely with three separate mills, Shinjintex Co. Ltd, Sidónios Knitwear and Cocccon Crafts and Loom, all known for their ethical credentials. He selected a variety of distinct fabrics using Tencel Luxe to demonstrate the versatility of the filament, including delicate silk-like jerseys and paper-light, hand-woven organzas, to a fluid crepe georgette and a crisp gabardine twill.
Highlights from the collection made using Tencel Luxe included sheer jumpsuits made from gossamer lace jersey, a black party dress with flouncy puffed sleeves in a striped taffeta, a baby blue belted gown with bishop sleeves and a sharp blazer with exaggerated shoulders made from a crisp, black gabardine twill.
Leonie Von Lieres, head of global marketing and account management, Tencel Luxe, added: “Osman is a wonderful example of a designer making inroads towards becoming more sustainable in the fabrics he uses. Not only can the Tencel Luxe filament be blended with other fibres to create an infinite variety of possible textiles, but the filament itself is made to the highest sustainability standards in a closed-loop production process and is completely biodegradable. It comes from the Earth and goes back to the Earth.
“We are receiving ever-increasing interest from brands and global luxury labels wanting to improve the sustainability of their collections. With his SS22 collection, Osman has shown that by making small changes, brands do not have to compromise on quality or aesthetics to be more sustainable in their offering.”
The collection itself is a story of opposing elements and emotions, explains Yousefzada in the show notes, with couture silhouettes and details designed to attract attention with workwear shapes. Such as joyfully frothy excess of ruffles with architectural tailoring and floor-grazing sleeves balanced by the relaxed masculinity of tunics and trousers.
Yousefzada’s tailoring and draping skills are at work throughout, making up a complete wardrobe, from biodegradable gowns to effortless casual ensembles, from head-turning sheer catsuits to the bohemian charm of hand-loomed ikat separates.
While 15-pieces utilised Tencel Luxe, other elements of the collection were made from artisanal fabrics woven on hand-looms in India and Pakistan, using techniques that have not changed for centuries and have been handed down from generation to generation, family to family. The brand also continued with its Last Yards concept to reduce waste within this collection, with pieces using deadstock fabrics originally discovered by Yousefzada on his voyages of inspiration. These pieces will become numbered limited-edition items