Trendshot from Séoul ❘ korean fashion : towards slow future ?


Fashion Industrie exploded in Korea the past last 5 years. Korean Fashion is well known for it Seoul craziness street style and bold designers. Youthly, flashy, exaggerated silhouettes are the recipe of the industry. Temple of fast fashion and copy, Seoul is one of the biggest place for shopping in Asia, shopping malls are blooming as well as designers.

In this sur-capitalism era, Korean people kept the habit to recycle waste, compost the food waste and stay close to Mother earth. It can be the roots of an emerging wave of sustainable designers here in South Korea. Few brands are coming up with new ideas and vision of Korean Fashion, a way to slow down this madden industry ? In this rise of awareness, designers are offering different visions and different answers to Korean fast fashion, from zero waste to upcycling innovations.

Yearly, the amount of waste in the fashion industry is recklessly increasing. To take the opposite course to it, few brands start a zero waste production. As a first example the RE;NANO line from the brand RE;CODE who are using unsold t-shirts and shirts and patched on it the scrap fabrics. PARTSPARTS design is having a zero waste in term of manufacturing and production line. Patterns are made in the way to use all the fabrics and seams are welded, in a way to save fabric and thread.

Another way of slowing down the warmful of the fashion industry is by doing upcycling. In one hand, RE;CODE had one of the most complete process. The brand is using dead stock garments, with those garments they are re;designing a full collection in an amazing quality. In the other hand, UL;KIN is a brand famous for the upcycling bags made with the thrown away painting of young artists. Hereafter the re-using of materials, there is a wish of a ‘talent-cycle’ by the cooperation of a community of artists and consumers.


Let’s move to an other ovni in Korea, SMK, a brand founded  by Sandra Meynier Kang, a french designer specialized into dance apparel. She produces  her collection in ethical way from the production with local manufacturers,  using eco-textiles such as Pinatex or Econil. Moreover, 5% of the brand benefits are given to the non-profit organisation CARE, an animals rights organisation. Some brands also pick their inspirations from the Korean heritage, as natural hand-dying or by using traditional fabrics like OMA SPACE and IISE.


Another sustainable initiatives comes up recently to the « WEAR GREY » during the AW17 SFW. It’s a showroom who gathering 5 designers: Im Seonoc- PARTsPARTs, Sohyan Bhaak -Post December, Seonju Kam- The Kam, Jaelim Yi- 12 ILI, Miseon Park Gear 3 around the slogan “Keep earth, wear grey, less laundry”. There aim : to araise the awareness about global sustainability. As a conclusion, an advice for fashion industry and designers:

“Eco-friendly concepts should be part of every design concept. It’s a work in progress [to change people’s mindset] this is not a one-time campaign, and we will continue to work on it.” Im Seonoc- PARTsPARTs Designer – Zero Waste Concept

by Camille Montard

Photo couverture : IISE

Crédits photos : Re;code, Partsparts, Ul;kin, IISE


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