Monday, May 20, 2024

Coachtopia, Aditi Mayer Explore Sustainable Fashion In ‘Road to Circularity’ Docuseries

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Today marks the debut of “The Road to Circularity,” an innovative docuseries by Coach’s sustainable spin-off label, Coachtopia.

Coachtopia’s new series delves into the unseen aspects of circular processes in the global fashion industry. Hosted by Aditi Mayer, a sustainable fashion advocate and member of the Coachtopia community, “The Road to Circularity” embarks on a global journey to uncover the collaborative efforts behind Coachtopia’s mission to implement circularity at scale. The series begins by addressing the pressing issues facing the fashion industry and the necessary mindset shifts to develop circular solutions for the future.

Coachtopia, a Gen Z-focused, community-powered sub-brand of the luxury fashion brand Coach, was launched in April 2023. It reimagines the product lifecycle by prioritizing the reduction of new material creation, focusing on crafting with waste, and designing products for multiple life cycles.

The series aims to accelerate change in the fashion industry by challenging predominant narratives around production and consumption. “Coachtopia began with the inquiry of whether we can minimize the use of virgin raw materials in fashion,” Mayer said in a statement. “It’s been fascinating learning about how that quest translates to every part of the supply chain: from sorting, designing, to quality control. It reveals how circularity isn’t just a shift in operations, it also demands that brands and storytellers alike champion a new culture: one that rewrites how we view ‘waste.’”

Joon Silverstein, SVP of Global Marketing and Sustainability at Coach and Head of Coachtopia, commented on the brand’s approach, “Since the founding of Coachtopia, we’ve been working closely with a wide range of inspiring young leaders through our Beta Community — and we have heard how frustrating fashion’s lack of transparency can be to this generation. That’s why we launched ‘The Road to Circularity’ — to go places where fashion doesn’t typically go, to explore the challenges facing our industry, and to show what it means to reconsider the usual fashion narratives and systems with circularity in mind. We’re excited to share our work-in-progress — because we know that to tackle climate change, we can’t be afraid to take bold if imperfect steps — and to be honest about how far we have to go. It’s our way of using brand storytelling to shed light on bigger issues and to spark conversations that have an impact beyond Coachtopia.”

The brand has been proactive in working with its global community of influencers to raise awareness and understanding of circularity and its role in reducing the fashion industry’s various impacts. In its “A Wasty Holiday” campaign, Coachtopia featured actor Lola Tung and a character named “Wasty,” made from leftover materials, to emphasize the potential of circular brands in transforming waste into tasteful items, especially during the holiday season when up to forty-three percent more waste is generated.

Coachtopia bag
Coachtopia bag made from upcycled materials | Courtesy

The first “Road to Circularity” episode, “Making with Waste,” sees Mayer visit KH Exports in Chennai, India, a family-run leather manufacturing company that has been collaborating with Coach since 1987. Coachtopia challenged KH Exports to repurpose Coach’s leather waste into a unique raw material. Mayer explores the process from sorting leather scraps to product prototyping, uncovering the personal stories of the designers, craftspeople, and producers involved. She learns about Coachtopia’s Upcrushed Upcrafted Leather, which uses heat and pressure to transform leather scraps into suede-like materials, each with a distinctive pattern and finish. Mayer reflects on the need to challenge conventional perceptions in fashion, such as the idea of “perfection.”

“It’s startling to think that — because of our cultural mindset around perfection — the natural grain of leather can be seen as a defect, leading to more waste,” Mayer says circularity is not just about changing the way we make, “but changing the way we think.”

Produced in collaboration with Special Order and director Christina Burchard, the first episode of “The Road to Circularity” is now available on Coachtopia’s social channels, with subsequent episodes slated for release later this year.

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