True Religion Denim is partnering with upcycle designer and conceptual artist Jaffa Saba to launch the sustainable denim collection True Religion X Jaffa. This collection is exclusively at Selfridges.
In case you aren’t familiar, Jaffa Saba is a London based designer who has a presence on Instagram where his creativity and unique approach in repurposing items is displayed. The artist, who studied under a Savile Row mentor, repurposed remnants and overstock into upcycled denim pieces – jackets, jeans, shorts, slides, tote bags, samurai bomber hats, bucket hats, and lighters.
“The limited-edition collection will feature products created using upcycled denim (comprised of factory defects and overstock from previous seasons) to craft one-of-a-kind, meaningful garments––all with the intention to rework and rethink the way denim is worn and used.”– source
Matt Claydon, international sales director for True Religion Denim, said he and his team were ” blown away by Jaffa’s creativity and attention to detail, which is what we embody as a brand. He’d already created some bespoke True Religion pieces from his own wardrobe, and after meeting, we were all buzzing about a collab. Jaffa’s understanding of the TR DNA, taking dead stock and factory damaged “Super Ts” and reworking them into new original one-off pieces excited us. ”
Sustainable Denim + Art
Jaffa Saba describes his approach on creating the sustainable denim collection. “After I met with Matt and the TR team, I immediately started to execute what I had in my mind – playing with the True Religion Blueprint- taking leftovers and recreating new functional innovative pieces – this is all just a bit of fun.” (source)
Even if it’s not at the level of reknown or creativity of designers and artists like Jaffa Saba, we can be inspired by re-purposing or upcycling garments we have in our own closets to create a useful thing. It is enjoyable as well as sustainable practice that we all can do.
In an interview with Cxlective.com, Saba describes his creative process – “When making a new piece I think the most enjoyable part of the process is the initial idea & concept and appreciating sometimes how far the final product is from the first sketch. I inevitably have to work with what is available to me.”
From the YouTubers who enthusiastically showcase their Do-It-Yourself creations to the mothers who have had to “patch and sew” to make due during economic down-turns throughout history to resourceful people in developing countries who use what’s at hand and ‘upcycle’ from necessity – the human response of creativity to address a need is present in all of us.
Upcycled Denim – a sustainable ‘style’ in practice
True Religion Jeans are a denim brand that has over the last couple of decades become a favorite among premium denim lovers. Other premium denim brands like 7 For All Mankind that are contemporaries in founding and relatively newer premium brands like FRAME Denim and MOTHER Denim and long established brands like Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler provide new takes on denim – wearables like jeans, jackets and even repurposed fabric as art.
For those who are really in to denim and jeans, it’s more than a garment to wear or even more than a favorite style of jeans or denim jacket that caught their attention. Serious denim fans prize features such as selvedge edges on jeans and pay particular attention to the denim fabric – where it was made and its quality – for example, Japanese denim is esteemed among aficionados of denim. And sustainable denim also has that devotee aspect which makes ethical fashion sustainable as a way of “doing fashion”.
Sustainable denim is more than a trend and while there may be a marketing angle (as it usually is with any business), founders and executives of companies can have a sincere interest in ethical fashion – many do. But partnering with authentic figures in the sustainability movement is a win-win collaboration. The creative work of the person is publicized and the fashion brand helps spread awareness of and promotes upcycled denim and sustainable fashion.