Sustainability in the fashion industry is the need of the hour. While the big fashion brands are plagued with unethical practices and doing too little to salvage the harm they have done (and continue to do) to the planet, the new breed of millennial fashion designers are taking up things in their own hands and creating products that are eco-friendly, fair trade and most importantly aesthetically pleasing.
One such brand that caught our eye is Laura Zabo. This eponymous fashion label is on a mission to turning rubbish into treasure – literally! “Transforming waste materials into resource is one of the best ways to help the planet”, says Laura Zabo, Founder of the brand. “On one of my travel adventures in Tanzania, I discovered brightly painted sandals made from recycled tyres and that got me excited. I knew more could be done with this material and I decided to experiment with it and ended-up with my sustainable vegan accessories brand. We make jewelry, belts, handbags, clothing, bow ties, home decor and dog accessories from tyres destined for landfill. We are soon launching our first sandal collection”.
When you can make money from sustainability, it’s the best equation. Laura is really passionate about her sustainable brand and believes that upcycling tyres is the best way to resolve the huge landfill problem the tyre industry is causing. Zabo received a donation of approximately 5000 rejected bicycle tyres, which her team will turn into beautiful products.
“Every year hundreds of millions of tyres are discarded and it is posing a major threat to the planet. My long-term idea is to upcycle really huge quantities of tyres and to invent many new products. I would like to set up an international franchise, where my partners can start to collect their local tyre waste and sell ZABO products in their region. In this way, we can make a significant change to the scrap tyre problem worldwide”.
All her pieces are made in her studio in UK. We got our hands on jewelry and belts from Zabo and we’re in love with the designs. The curvy wurly statement necklace is our favorite piece from her collection and it is amazing how light it is. Tyre rubber is a great leather alternative and is highly durable and flexible. Her belts made from upcycled tyres are perfect for casual wear and the great thing is they would never chip, unlike most leather or leather alternatives.
We were a little concerned about the toxins that may have been found in tyres; safety comes first. However, we were reassured by Laura that her products are safe. She sent us the confirmation of a test conducted in Hungary that confirms that the upcycled tyres are safe when they come in contact with the skin.
On what’s in hold for the future, Laura tells us that she is soon opening up an eco-friendly lifestyle store in Greenwich that will have upcycled furniture, home decorations, plus individually collected second-hand clothing, in addition to her upcycled tyre products.
Laura Zabo is an example of how with creativity and commitment, fashion can be both innovative and sustainably made. Fashion brands are getting seriously creative when it comes to sustainability. From pineapple, cork and mushroom leather to upcycled fishing net fabrics and clothing and accessories made from recycled tyres – the sustainable designers are disrupting the fashion industry with the use of eco-friendly and vegan materials.
As a conscious and responsible consumer, it is our duty to support these brands and help them bring the much needed positive change in the fashion industry.
Shop Laura Zabo accessories here
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