The global fashion industry makes between 80 and 150 billion garments a year, while one garbage trucks’ worth of clothes is thrown away every second. This waste problem is, of course, catastrophic for the environment, but it’s also an opportunity for bold new ideas. Recoded™ by Aalto is a step towards a more circular and traceable fashion industry; it’s an experiment in traceability, which hand-picks garments from the past, updates them for the present, and enriches the experience of their future owners.
On the surface, Recoded™ by Aalto is a luxury upcycling program, where series of vintage staples are updated and reworked for the modern man, or woman. But the platform proposes a much bigger vision: a QR-enabled unique serial number anchors digital data directly to each piece, which when scanned, provides open-source content on each piece’s provenance, material composition, and care instructions. The tag is washable and built to last, and empowers owners to have a deeper, more intimate relationship with each piece. We want to encourage true ownership, by giving fashion lovers permanent, transparent information on their purchases long after they leave the store.
As the first step of the Recoded™ platform, Aalto International and its creative director Tuomas Merikoski has scoured the world for shirting, workwear, denim, jersey and silk squares, and in collaboration with its selected suppliers and ateliers, brought them into the present day by reworking their silhouettes and adding edge with mixing different product bases with each other. These heirlooms were mass-produced by industrials to serve a functional and rather classical purpose, and by reworking them for modern tastes, the Recoded™ by Aalto pays tribute to the designer culture and their natural, never-out-trend materials. Every piece in the Recoded™ collection is unique, marked by the always unique defining ‘Unica Semper’ slogan stamp printed by Aalto’s team of makers.
Recoded™ by Aalto is grounded in the belief that when it comes to fashion’s impact on the planet, there is no black or white, only shades of grey. There is no such thing as a “good” or a “bad” material: each and every fabric used in garment production is inherently problematic. What we proudly stand behind is the principle of post-consumer material reuse or recycling: we believe every fashion brand has a responsibility to use as few virgin materials as possible.
In this age of disposable, throwaway fashion, It is clear that we desperately need a better way of engaging with clothes. As a brand, we are part of the problem, but we can also use our platform to drive positive change throughout the industry, by minimizing waste, regenerating garments, and bringing value back to the experience of shopping. Recoded™ is about returning to the values that luxury fashion is grounded in: to craft beautiful pieces that will last a lifetime. We are taking a step back in time, to resurrect vintage pieces that still have a place in wardrobes today, so that we can take a step forward to a more transparent and circular fashion industry.