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Brief Published: 23 Oct 2020

Hyundai Reimagines Waste Auto Materials as Fashion Products

Hyundai Re:Style 2020

Hyundai has partnered with a group of eco-conscious designers to transform discarded materials from automotive manufacturing and scrapping into a range of fashion products. The Re:Style 2020 collection is part of the automaker’s goal to drive innovation in sustainable design through cross-industry collaboration.

The project stems from Hyundai’s recognition that while many of its materials (such as iron and nonferrous metals) are currently recycled as part of the vehicle scrapping process, materials like leather, glass and airbags still end up in landfill.   

Focusing on these waste materials, the contributing designers were tasked with reworking them into a collection of jewellery, clothing and accessories.

British designer Richard Quinn printed polyester airbag fabric with a floral pattern for his fitted corset, while US brand Public School and South Korean Pushbutton have both created technical/work-style vests from the same material; the former using seatbelt webbing as adjustable straps, and the latter retaining the airbag’s original stitching and ties as detailing.

A tote bag by New York-based Rosie Assoulin is formed from deadstock PVC and felt carpet, foam and seatbelt webbings, while London-based E.L.V. Denim’s jumpsuit is made with leather scraps from car seats and post-consumer denim waste.

Finally, London-based jewellery brand Alighieri’s offering of necklaces, chokers and bracelets are made from seatbelts, window glass and foam materials, combined with gold, silver, bronze and freshwater pearls. See CMF Industry View: Jewellery for more sustainable approaches to materials in the jewellery sector.

The Re:Style 2020 range is available to purchase as part of British department store Selfridges’ eco-ethical initiative Project Earth – read more here – with all funds raised going to the British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion, a platform driving best practice and positive change. 

While demonstrating the creative capital in waste materials, the project also highlights the opportunities offered by acting on collective ambitions towards more sustainable practices.

See The Wealth in Waste for more on waste materials and circular ecosystems.