How an Eco-Friendly Hotel Birthed a Sustainable Clothing Line

Wasted Collective co-founder Ronald Akili on the importance of being flexible in the world of conscious fashion.

Fashion 
7,184 Hypes 8 Comments

There are certain phrases so well-worn that we become numb to their actual definition. For many “sustainability”, has become one of them. Used now so loosely, it was a term that had somewhat its foundational meaning.

It’s something that Ronald Akili, the co-founder of Wasted Collective, hopes to redress. Founded in 2020 — alongside former Global Design Director at Nike Jesse Levya — Wasted Collective is a seasonless apparel label which promotes a lifestyle free from excess. Whether it’s creating pockets for a T-shirt using discarded fishermen’s nets, or dying its products using natural charcoal, the brand’s approach to sustainability is refreshingly straightforward.

“Everything we create is based on three principles: reuse, recycle or recraft,” Akili explains. “We wanted to create sustainable products that are not only comfortable and that look good, but are functional too.”

Akili is also the man behind the environmentally-friendly Potato Head creative village resort, located on the Indonesian island of Bali. The now-emblematic venue, which opened its doors in 2010, can be found in the vibrant neighbourhood of Seminyak and has become renowned for its sustainable outlook on the hospitality sector. It’s this ongoing success, and the lessons learned there, that made Akili want to extend beyond the hotel.

“When we first opened Potato Head, we found we were often forced to compromise,” explains Akili. “But in time, we managed to solve these various problems, That’s what we’re doing with Wasted Collective too.”

Despite its relative infancy as a label, Wasted Collective is a brand to be admired. Unlike so many other labels which describe themselves as sustainable, their approach seems regimented and clear about its practices and methods, something Akili is keen to continue.

“​​For us, it’s about being transparent in what we’re doing, not trying to hide anything,” he says. “Whether it’s a new technology, new supply chain or we even find out that something we’re currently doing can be done in a more sustainable way, we want to learn and share.

“One example is when we were creating an art take on a classic Bali shirt. Midway through that process we found a supplier collecting discarded fishermen’s nets from the ocean. This made us rethink our process midway through and went about creating inside pockets using these old, unused nets. It’s that sort of flexibility I think makes us unique.”

Wasted Collective’s most recent capsule is a prime example of the brand’s flexibility. “We found a new type of Japanese cotton for our previous collection, so decided to switch things up and use that instead of what we were before,” says Akili. “Essentially it’s a much more sustainable way of using cotton as it uses less water. When you use it for apparel, suddenly it’s comfortable and has a really nice weight to it, it feels really premium.”

While many brands across the fashion industry can certainly learn from the way Wasted Collective approaches sustainability, Akili is well aware it’s going to be a group effort if things are going to change in the long-term.

“We have a lot to learn from the fashion industry, but I think they can learn from us too,” he says. “What I’m excited about is people beginning to share their sources rather than keeping them a trade or brand secret. It’s what we want, the clue is in our name. We know we can move forward in making fashion more sustainable, but we have to do it as a collective. The more the industry can lean into this, the better it can be for everyone.”

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Coca-Cola Develops Eco-Friendly Cap That Stays Attached
Food & Beverage

Coca-Cola Develops Eco-Friendly Cap That Stays Attached

Ensuring that they are recycled as well.

Saucony Utilizes Pineapple Alternative to Leather For Eco-Friendly Capsule
Footwear

Saucony Utilizes Pineapple Alternative to Leather For Eco-Friendly Capsule

Comprising the Jazz Court, Shadow 6000 and Jazz 81.

Adidas Originals and Parley Reinterpret Classic Styles With Eco-Friendly Twist
Footwear

Adidas Originals and Parley Reinterpret Classic Styles With Eco-Friendly Twist

“Today’s icons, made for tomorrow.”


Zenith Races to Eco-Friendly Future With Carbon Fiber DEFY Extreme
Watches

Zenith Races to Eco-Friendly Future With Carbon Fiber DEFY Extreme

The carbon fiber timepiece is inspired by EXTREME E’s electrified racing series.

END. Opens All-New Newcastle Flagship Store
Fashion

END. Opens All-New Newcastle Flagship Store

Returning to its home city.

UNIQLO UT Taps the Power of 'Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie' in New Collaboration
Fashion

UNIQLO UT Taps the Power of 'Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie' in New Collaboration

Releasing four T-shirts.

BAIT Releases Glow in the Dark 'The Matrix' T-Shirts in Latest Capsule
Fashion

BAIT Releases Glow in the Dark 'The Matrix' T-Shirts in Latest Capsule

A fit for any operator.

Buckle up With the Moncler Genius x 1017 ALYX 9SM Almondy Jacket
Fashion

Buckle up With the Moncler Genius x 1017 ALYX 9SM Almondy Jacket

Cozy up in forest green this winter.

Six More Women Come Forward to Join Workplace Sexual Harassment Case Against Tesla
Automotive

Six More Women Come Forward to Join Workplace Sexual Harassment Case Against Tesla

Claiming “nightmarish” working conditions at the automaker’s Fremont plant.


Pestle & Mortar Clothing Fires Up the Barbie With StreetX for BBQ Capsule
Fashion

Pestle & Mortar Clothing Fires Up the Barbie With StreetX for BBQ Capsule

Featuring a stainless steel Coleman grill.

Grenson Recruits Eckhaus Latta, LABRUM and Phipps for "Future Shoes" Project
Footwear

Grenson Recruits Eckhaus Latta, LABRUM and Phipps for "Future Shoes" Project

The three labels all update classic Grenson boot silhouettes.

Tyler, the Creator and Tame Impala to Headline BUKU Music + Art Project's 10th Anniversary
Music

Tyler, the Creator and Tame Impala to Headline BUKU Music + Art Project's 10th Anniversary

The New Orleans festival will return for the first time since 2019.

Wrist Check: Steph Curry Gifts Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala Customized Rolexes
Watches

Wrist Check: Steph Curry Gifts Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala Customized Rolexes

After Curry’s NBA record-breaking game.

Adidas Originals Revisits Its 1970s Stockholm Silhouette
Footwear

Adidas Originals Revisits Its 1970s Stockholm Silhouette

The latest addition to its ongoing “City Series”.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.