Aaron Chang: recycled fashion swimsuits
Another great find at the Action Sports Retailers (ASR) Trade Show 2007 is the new line from Aaron Chang. These are the first fashion swimsuits to incorporate environmental materials and they look great.
What is Aarong Chang and how did he get involved in developing womens swimwear? Well-known in the photography world, his work has appeared on over 100 covers, on coffee table books, on countless ads for companies like, Nike, Yamaha, Polaris and Levis. As an avid and legendary surfer, nature has always been in the forefront of his mind and he had a desire to incorporate his personal values with his professional work. According to Aaron, "I would like to convey through photographs a sense of wonder with the amazing design and architecture of life."Thus, a great concept was formed to merge photography with fashion with swimwear. While the first few suits were not eco-friendly, this spring Aaron Chang will debut two new swimsuit lines that are made from 100% recycled plastic soda bottles. The response has already been so positive that Aaron Chang plans to make all summer swimsuit lines from 100% recycled plastic and eco-friendly.
The swimwear incorporates the direct photographs or small pieces from the photographs are used to design a logo that is used on the swimwear. Themes on the swimsuits incorporate elements of the natural world, such as waves, sunsets, flowers, elephants and indigenous designs from Panama. All swimsuits use bright colors, such as hot pints, greens, reds. The swimsuits are reversible, thus allowing for two suits for the price of one; A great concept.
Currently all cover-ups (shorts, tops and dress covers) are made from 100% organic cotton. Detailing on the clothes and suits is made from wooden beads, thus no plastic parts on the clothing or suits.
But why stop with the swimsuits or the cover-ups — Aaron Chang has made sure that all items related to the clothing are also environmental. Marketing materials and papers are all recycled and certified by the Rainforest Alliance to not come from virgin rainforest trees. Catalogs, handtags and press kits are all made from recycled paper.
Aaron Chang swimwear will soon appear in Urban Outfitters stores. Discussions with other retailers encouraged the promotion of 100% recycled suits as they wanted to carry different designs which were at that time not recycled. This is one way that retailers and designers in turn both encourage each other and push each other to incorporate more environmental practices. Sometimes it comes from the designer pushing new eco-lines and, as in this case, the change was encouraged by the retailer asking for more eco-options.