Each week on the Sustainable Shopper, Stylist talks to the people focused on creating a more conscious shopping space for all. This time, Rejina Pyo – womenswear fashion designer – talks to fashion editor Harriet Davey about her covet fashion label, sustainability and more.
A lot of my time as a fashion editor is spent deciphering trends, compiling shopping edits and championing brands that are doing great things. More so now than ever, though, the latter is what I have become increasing more interested in. Yes brands can create amazing new collections each season, and yes they can tick off the key trends but are they doing this at a cost to our planet? This is where Rejina Pyo comes in.
Having started her label in 2014, I have watched as the designer has gone from strength to strength, not just in terms of her growing and loyal fan base of fashion editors and influencers, but also how the brand is ever changing, adapting and striving to be better when it comes to sustainable practices. Putting care into each piece shows, and I have to say the label’s aesthetic and values are something I back 100%. And I secretly, or not so secretly, would happily only wear Rejina outfits forever after resonating with the brand deeper than the product.
Using organic and sustainably sourced materials, Rejina’s label has also now stepped into kidswear by designing an edit of pieces made from recycled and past season materials. Recently, the fashion designer also collaborated with & Other Stories and naturally it gained rave reviews with everyone eager to get the staple Rejina style on the high street.
You’ll notice a Rejina Pyo piece from a mile off – with statement sleeves, elegant silhouettes and having mastered modern tailoring down to a tee, the designer is here to make a stamp on the fashion industry in more ways than one. Here, Rejina introduces you to the new fall 2021 collection (already available to shop on site) as well as giving her top tips for being more sustainable.
What is your earliest memory of sustainability?
Rejina: I’ve always cared about the environment but it wasn’t until I started to work in fashion I became aware of the full extent of the problem. There was a time I nearly reconsidered whether I wanted to be a part of this industry but a longtime friend of mine – who is now one of our directors and a sustainability expert – said ‘if you just walk away from this nothing will change, you need to be in it to make a real difference.’
Is there such a thing as truly sustainable fashion?
I think it’s important to acknowledge every product has an impact and that sustainability is an ongoing journey, not a destination. It requires continual reflection and improvement.
Who is your favourite sustainable influencer? And why?
Fashion Revolution is an amazing campaign and organisation that has managed to engage millions of people around the world. Aside from activating people, they continue to demand more transparency and responsibility from businesses which is what this industry needs to make real change.
Investment vs throw away fashion: how do you get customers to care?
It’s not just about switching to brands and products which align with your values but also about acknowledging that we all have to consume less. I feel there is definitely a shift happening and this is because of the information which is now easily accessible.
We have never seen customers so informed and engaged so it is inevitable they will become more discerning when it comes to making any sort of purchase.
What changes would you like to see happen in the fashion industry?
I would like to see it slow down and allow creativity to flourish. The pace at which the industry currently operates is untenable long term, both ecologically and socially.
Give us three sustainable tips
1. Buy less, keep items longer and invest in repairing them when you need to.
2. Borrow and swap pieces with friends.
3. When you do make a new purchase, consider what the product is made of and look for lower impact materials such as organic or recycled.
Sustainable Shopper edit by Rejina:
Rejina Pyo jacket
With the signature handcrafted buttons, this jacket made from organic cotton is timeless in the sand shade. You can also get the matching trousers to style it as a two piece.
Rejina Pyo skirt
Co-ords not only look amazing paired together, but also as separates. Created using recycled polyester, imagine it with heeled mules and an oversized blazer.
Rejina Pyo T-shirt
The ‘peace & love’ logo T-shirt is an elevated basic to weave into you everyday outfits. Made from organic cotton, it’s a classic.
Rejina Pyo sweater
This wear-anywhere sweater with contrasting stitch detail is a piece you can style in so many ways. Formed from regenerated cashmere, it’s one of those styles you’ll never want to let go of.
Rejina Pyo dress
An Instagram favourite, the Celeste dress in sunny yellow is a sartorial hit of vitamin D. With heels or kicks, you’ll want to wear it across all seasons.
Rejina Pyo shirt
Supersize collars are having a big moment and this organic cotton shirt is a way to take the classic white shirt up a notch. Try it out tucked into a midi skirt with flatform sandals.
Rejina Pyo children's T-shirt
Having just launched kidswear in May this year, the collection is for age two to eight year olds and is made using recycled materials and past season archive materials.
Rejina Pyo children's jacket
Part of the kids collection, this mini Riley jacket is setting the little ones off on the right foot by being made with organic materials. It also comes in pink, too.
Images: courtesy of Rejina Pyo