The fashion industry is frequently subjected to intense scrutiny and criticism for its high carbon emissions and lack of commitment to sustainability. In response to this, Absolut wanted to host a London Fashion Week event that was the pioneer of real change, hoping to inspire future designers and prove that sustainability is accessible to all. Marble LDN’s Production Manager, Zoe, describes what it was like to work on the Absolut Trash pitch:
“We had to think about sustainability from every angle on the project, to ensure each element of the build was constructed from rubbish, reused or recycled materials. We wanted to bring as much waste from London Fashion Week as possible, which meant there were many logistical challenges that we had to solve. Being unaware of exactly what waste we were going to receive bought an element of nervous excitement… but in the end I think we managed to create a really effective set, made from items of various materials, colours and and even some additional Absolut branding from empty bottles and boxes. It was great to be able to give the waste (which would have otherwise been thrown in the bin) a second life. Generally for the majority of our bespoke projects, the set materials would be purchased specifically for the job, so it was a great challenge to make use of waste and commit to using completely sustainable materials.
A stand out feature was the ‘TRASH’ light, which was constructed from broken mirrors, (salvaged from a mirror factory’s skip), 38 Absolut bottles and a protective cover made from 100% recycled plastic. We mounted the components onto reclaimed wood and illuminated the sign with recycled lights left over from another event.”
We were commissioned by our amazing friends at John Doe PR to design and build the Absolut Trash runway in a collaborative project intended to turn heads and inspire a generation of new sustainable fashion designers. We’ve worked with the John Doe team on a number of projects in the past so we were thrilled to be asked to collaborate with them again. Project lead and Account Director at Marble, Silvija, talks about what it was like to collaborate with our friends at John Doe for this project:
“As always, it was an ABSOLUTe pleasure to work with John Doe. Every project comes with its own objectives and challenges that we truly enjoy tackling. The relationship we developed with them is special, where we bounce off each other during the creative process and where we have a very strong vision on what needs to be achieved. This time we collaboratively created an ambitious activation involving various partnerships and designed a beautiful catwalk for an evening filled with sustainable fashion. It was extremely exciting to work on a project with such a great cause, where we had to be creative on ways to achieve the best results with little resource and time in our hands.”
Celine Khor, Head of Brand Experience at John Doe, was also thrilled with the project: “Huge love to everyone – everyone at Absolut who got behind this idea, Marble LDN’s incredible team for their patience, professionalism and talent.”
Waste was collected from LFW parties, various catwalk backstage areas and local bars and recycled into the runway. The Marble team took this rubbish and showcased it in a stylish and creative way, with ‘rubbish walls’ framing a catwalk made from Orca boards. These boards are made using 100% ocean plastic, collected from beaches across the UK and shredded down into building materials by Orca Sound Project.
As frequent collaborators with Orca Sound Project, we knew their sustainability goals and responsible, proactive business model matched with our own as well as Absolut’s.
“When looking for ways to apply Orca Boards we look for clients that have the same philosophy on recycling and who are promoting the circular economy. Absolut were the perfect fit for us because both our products are about regenerating resources, using waste as a resource, designing for the future and collaborating to create joint value.
We have always wanted to build a catwalk made using collected ocean plastic so we were super excited when Marble LDN presented this project to us. We hope that this will inspire other designers and producers to think about the materials they use at London Fashion Week in the future.”
Posey Collis, Director at Orca Sound Project
Our creative team took 3 unique designs into the pitch for John Doe, each one making use of a recycled material whilst also representing the Absolut brand, always keeping in mind that the activation was intended to promote the new limited edition Absolut Recycled bottle, which is made using at least 41% recycled glass.
The fashion designers who got the chance to have their collection walk the runway were selected as they reflected the sustainable values of Absolut, like James Marshall, Founder of 10T. Marshall collects abandoned festival tents and recycles them into beautiful garments, demonstrating how easy it is to recycle products into innovative and creative new designs.
“It was an amazing experience to be able to show my work at LFW. Sustainability in fashion is really having a moment and it’s great to see brands like Absolut get behind up-and-coming brands like us at 10T.”
James Marshall, Founder at 10T
Absolut even recruited four consumer models directly from the audience to wear the sustainable collections, making an example of how both designers and buyers can play a role in pioneering sustainability, whilst giving members of the public a chance to make their LFW debut.
The reality is that all of us, as businesses and consumers, have a responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions, and the Absolut Trash show proves the possibilities for getting creative with this are endless:
“At Absolut, we don’t see waste as waste, we see it as a resource and an asset”, says Raja Banerji, Marketing Director at Pernod Ricard. “We believe that waste is useful and with a little creativity we can all drive positive change. The Absolut Trash runway, alongside our new bottle, truly brings this belief to life in the creative manner that Absolut stands for.”