The Gold Standard: How Goldwin 0 Crafts High-Performance, Ecologically Conscious Garments

Goldwin 0 designer Julia Rodowicz discusses the line’s advanced materials, the sacrifices necessary to keep a sustainable fashion business rolling and more.

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Goldwin 0 designer Julia Rodowicz is no stranger to walking the line between sustainability, style and performance. “We want [Goldwin 0] products to be created in a responsible way without compromising their function,” she says. “The longer a garment lasts, the more sustainable it is because the energy and resources used to produce it are offset.” That offset is at the core of what Goldwin 0 does: it’s an experimental diffusion arm of the greater Goldwin umbrella that aims to produce zero-waste, fully circular clothing.

Much like its parent company, Goldwin 0 (which was conceptualized in early 2022) is no stranger to extremely advanced materials — and they run rampant through the brand’s recently-released Spring 2023 collection. There’s WHOLEGARMENT, seam-free knitwear that’s knitted in all three dimensions directly from a machine, cutting down on manufacturing waste. There’s PERTEX SHIELDAIR, an ultra-light, waterproof and windproof technology based on a nanofiber structure that enables heat and humidity to escape while keeping the elements out. Most interestingly, there’s a material called SPIBER Brewed Protein, which here is used to make unique denim jackets and thick-knit sweaters. It’s constructed from fibers made of plant-derived sugars, which are brewed in a method similar to beer. SPIBER garments are fully circular as well: at the end of their life cycle, they can be broken down and used as nutrients to ferment proteins for the creation of other SPIBER garments.

As Goldwin 0 continues to expand its mission, Hypebeast sat down with Rodowicz to get the scoop on its advanced materials, the evolution of circular design and the the sacrifices necessary to keep a sustainable fashion business rolling.

Hypebeast: Function and sustainability are the key pillars of the Goldwin 0 line. How do you make sure one doesn’t take a backseat to the other when creating the line’s garments?

We want [Goldwin 0] products to be created in a responsible way without compromising their function. The longer a garment lasts, the more sustainable it is because the energy and resources used to produce it are offset.

How does the process of creating a Goldwin 0 garment start? Do you have a specific piece in mind and find a material that lets you bring it to life, find a material you like and create off of that, a little of both?

As with FW22, for SS23 we imagined an ideal wardrobe that will fit into a cabin luggage to accompany a digital nomad or a nature lover. We worked with the best possible fabrication for each garment to improve its comfort and enhance its performance.

SPIBER Brewed Protein is a key material in this season’s collection. What’s so unique about it, and what’s the most fun part of working with it?

SPIBER is unique because it combines the smoothness of silk, the warmth of wool and the strength of an armour while being developed with a minimum water usage. The fun part is that it can be spun and woven or knitted into fabrics of all kind: waterproof shell, sturdy denim, fluffy chenille, soft cashmere-like. The possibilities are endless. Fun fact: SPIBER is brewed in a similar way beer is!

Pertex is also used heavily throughout the collection. Can you tell us more about some of its benefits and why it’s such a staple?

The challenge that the Goldwin design team has worked to solve while developing its technical outerwear in recent years is how to guarantee effective protection against wind and rain while still insuring the required durability for outdoor use — and offering increased breathability and moisture permeability. PERTEX SHIELDAIR solved that puzzle. It’s designed to be smooth and light on yet provide durably waterproof protection and moisture permeability, it offers exceptional breathability when worn over other layers and it prevents humidity build-up during activity. All-weather outerwear protects you against wind and rain. However, inner layers often get soaked with moisture from sweat during activity, which can lead to overcooling. This is the dilemma with conventional rain jackets and even high-performance shells — especially in Japan (where Goldwin comes from), because of the country’s long hot, humid summers. This technology offers high-level breathability and unparalleled levels of comfort that is superior to conventional moisture-permeable fabrics. (Editor’s note: While all other questions were answered by Julia Rodowicz, this question was answered by Goldwin’s internal marketing team)

High-quality and high-tech materials can often come accompanied by a high price tag. What would you say to a consumer who’s interested in a Goldwin 0 piece, what it means and what it can offer, but might be used to less expensive alternatives?

Buying less but buying better is the most sustainable choice you can make for our planet. Goldwin 0 products are made to last. You can further prolong your garment’s life by taking care of it and repairing it when damaged, either at the Goldwin Toyama factory — free of charge! — or with a do-it-yourself kit we offer in order to further reduce your carbon footprint. Ultimately, this means living in greater harmony with the Earth, its ecosystem, our fellow humans and all living creatures. It’s worth an investment.

Part of Goldwin 0’s manifesto is about the “pursuit of harmony with the natural world.” Clothing, of course, can often be quite destructive to the natural world. How does Goldwin 0 keep the natural world in mind when designing new pieces?

We use recycled, organic, compostable and cruelty-free fibers. We only collaborate with socially responsible manufacturers. We will work on recycling our garments when their life cycle is over to manifest respect for the resources used to create them.

What sacrifices have to be made in order to maintain a sustainable fashion business?

In terms of design, we avoid mixing fibers or adding unnecessary details that would jeopardize the recycling of our garments. In terms of business, we produce less but produce better. Quality and sustainability need not to be sacrificed for quantity’s sake.

How do you see circular design evolving over the next five to 10 years, and what excites (or worries) you about its future?

Humans have produced such a vast quantity of textiles that we have enough deadstock fabric to clothe ourselves for the next hundred years. I’m excited to see how young designers are naturally drawn to and inspired by these resources, and am hopeful they will lessen the impact fashion has on the environment. What worries me is that sustainability is a trend and a marketing point for big players in the industry rather than a value at the core of their business. Regulations from governments around the world are needed to impose good practice and reduce “green-washing.” Less words, more action!

What’s a fun fact about the collection that people might not know?

Our Optical Knits this season are knitted in a yarn made out of Japanese paper — the most surprising material ever! It’s super lightweight and has a dry hand-feel, yet it is soft to the touch. The garments will be super comfortable in the midst of a hot and humid summer and they are machine washable.


The Goldwin 0 Spring 2023 collection is available now from the brand’s webstore.

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