“So this Halloween I am going to be a SEXY BEAR! LOL. Two years ago I was a caveman (pictured below), last year I was BRUNO in Yellow Laderhossen, no pictures of that.”
Lauren: “I am lucky enough to live in NYC’s West Village, so on Halloween I can literally walk out my door and into the Greenwich Village Halloween parade. The parade has become a tradition every year for me and my friends. Since there are so many costume stores on 6th and 7th Avenues, I might have a different costume for every day of Halloween weekend this year.”
Ron: “This year unfortunately I am in China working so I’m missing being home with my family. It is always a tradition to carve pumpkins and then for me to dress up with my two kids, Olivia and Tristan, my wife, and our dog to go trick or treating around our neighborhood. I think I enjoy it more than my children!”
“We had a pumpkin decorating contest. This is our 1st place winner. Georgia May Jagger-lantern!”
Raffael: “I was a moustacho-wearing Soviet solider. This year I’m going to be Cheburashka, a Russian stop-motion animation character from 1969.”
“I was a DIY Bollywood dancer last year, but I made my costume last second and by the middle of the night my denim cut-offs were showing. Oops!”
“My costume this year is going to be Bedelia Grantham from the 1982 horror flop Creepshow. Costume includes: ratty blonde wig, black sun hat, black cape, black pants, bottle of whiskey, and a dinner length cigarette holder.
My favorite past year’s costume was when my sister and I decided to be topical, and she was Kevin Federline (wearing my dad’s clothes and a goatee drawn on with eyeliner) and I was a smoking, pimpled, and pregnant Britney Spears.”
“I was a “vampire rocker” (don’t ask). On a cool note I was wearing a white denim vest with an embroidered skull—fancy! This year I’m planning on being a gothic mad hatter.”
Brie: “I just managed to get my hands on an old Halloween pic (Belle), then my (tentative) costume idea for this year is Jane Lane from Daria.”
“This year, I’ll be dressing up as a princess inspired by SNSD’s new album’s concept as princesses. I’m really excited since I love dressing up!~ Last year I dressed up as Minnie Mouse, which was really fun. I’m also looking forward to everyone’s costumes. Hope everyone will have a fun and safe Halloween!”
” I am planning to dress up as either Bruce Lee in his yellow jumpsuit or as Elf in the Will Ferrell movie. This isn’t a picture of me but it’s a picture of my daughter, Kenzie, and my dog, Lucky, in their panda costumes from last Halloween.”
Reco jeans is taking the reigns as the ultimate in eco-friendly denim, and the more they grow, the more their passion for environmentally conscious product comes to the surface. We spoke to art director Nathan this past spring, where he introduced us to the concept of the brand and showed us first-hand some of the awesome products they produce. Since that informative encounter we had a chance to question the head designer Melissa Santos, and delve a little deeper into the mission of reco jeans.
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. What inspired you to get this brand off the ground?
reco jeans: This brand was inspired by the childhood of the two cousins (the owners of reco jeans). They grew up with the denim factory and would witness all the scraps left behind that would eventually end up in a landfill. As they got older they came up with the brilliant idea to keep all the denim scraps and have it all broken down and spun into a new yarn; a recycled yarn. This yarn would then be used to weave the new fabric, which is then used for reco jeans.
DT: How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
RJ: We differentiate ourselves by being the only brand to use TRUE recycled denim.
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
RJ: Before I jump in and start designing, I usually do some shopping and research first. I even ask my friends, fans, and followers what type of things they would like to see on their denim.
DT: Describe the woman who represents your ideal target customer.
RJ: This young lady is very well into fashion. She gets our jeans because she loves the way they fit, and she loves the style. She may not know too much about the environment or of being eco-conscious, but once she finds out she is actually making a difference by wearing reco jeans, she feels great about herself and wants to continue the trend by finding more eco friendly goods.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration?
RJ: To collaborate with Lady Gaga would be a dream. She would definitely add a twist to the denim market, while unveiling things we’ve never seen done in denim before.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
RJ: I am really loving our darkest blue/black wash, but I am also a fan of our bleached wash. Right now our mid rise skinny is fitting beautifully like a glove. It lifts what should be lifted and flattens what shouldn’t be bulging! This Fall I plan on wearing boxy graphic tees with my mid rise skinny jeans, and knee length grey/brown flat boots. I may even top off my look with a bowler hat.
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
RJ: I am not too fond of the white denim trend, but thats only because i’m such a klutz and i always end up spilling or dropping something on my brand new white jeans. However, I have seen white denim styled great on a few people.
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high-end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
RJ: Honestly I am more inspired by street style. Sometimes I even skip the internet and magazine research and I just go straight to designing based on things i’ve seen on people out here in the city. Even all the fashion forcasting sites are showing more street fashion from the different cities around the world. How many pairs of jeans do you own? Haha too many to even keep track of!
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
RJ: We’re collaborating with some interesting designers/ labels. You can expect some punk/ rock n roll styles, but also some feminine fun looks in the near future.
A big thanks to reco jeans for doing this interview with us. Don’t forget to check out their lookbook and shop their collection online! While you’re at it, like them on facebook!
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: eco-friendly, head designer, interview, melissa santos, q&a, reco jeans, recycled jeans, recycled materials, true recycled jeans
Eco-friendly, going-green. These are terms that were trendy not long ago, and they’re quickly morphing into a standard of social and business behavior that can easily get you snubbed if you don’t bring them to the table. We love talking to brands that are taking this issue seriously, and recently we had the chance to sit down with Nathan, art director of Reco Jeans—an awesome, relatively new brand (begun in 2008) that have taken their feelings on the eco-issue to the next level.
“We’re really looking at the concept of re-appropriating everything,” says Nathan, “we are cutting out the step of removing raw materials from the earth. We figure most of the things that people need have already been made and have already been around for a long time… theres not a huge requirement to keep plundering the planet.”
The premise is simple—make new jeans by recycling resources we have now. Reco Jeans reduces scrap fabric back into fibers, spins those fibers into yarns, and weaves those yarns back into denim.
As Nathan explained, “a lot of people overlook the carbon footprint cotton creates. They overlook the fact that pesticide run-off is a really big polution problem. People focus on things like the waste from the manufacturing, but they don’t even consider the fact that the process of growing cotton creates this huge blemish on our environment. It’s poisoning the fish, the water supplies… there’s got to be a better way. So we’re trying to find solutions to that, to open new possibilities for the future. We’re a very future oriented company.”
The zippers and other metal hardware is likewise made of melted down materials, and our favorite element? The hang-tags are made of plant-able seed paper, so rather than toss them in the trash, you can toss them right into the earth. Also adorning the pockets are tags made of recycled paper with information in various species of endangered plants (one per style, to be precise). This is an attempt to build awareness and spread the word, before it’s too late for some of our planet’s most beautiful plants.
“Each one of these plants evolved for a reason to fit into the eco-system in a specific way,” Nathan told us, “and our anhilitation of each one of them is potentially removing a spoke from the wheel of life. Those are troubling thoughts to consider. It’s up to us to make sure these species dont disappear, and ensure the longevity of our eco-system.”
Aside from being a stylish, forward-thinking eco-conscious brand, Reco Jeans is a community-oriented collective. Their events, canned food drives, eco-fashion parades, DJ-contests (featuring “recycled music”) and countless other New York-based collaborations (they have a sub-collection titled MrNY) have put them ahead of many brands by taking their vision for their brand and extending it far beyond the jeans.
As Nathan describes, “these events help us build community and build brand awareness. We’re basing the thematic and conceptual basis of the event on what we stand for, and at the same time, have fun with fans of the brand!”
Why New York? ”We’re trying to build our customer base around New York’s young generation who likes to wear jeans, are part of the nightlife, are eco-conscious and politically aware. These are the people who are broadcasting their interests and ideology throughout the country. Whatever’s big here tends to proliferate throughout the country and the world. They’re taste makers.”
Also available from Reco Jeans are a line of T-shirts, designed via artist collaborations (and naturally, they’re eco-friendly as well).
Nathan’s outfit: “The shirt is made out of recycled soda bottles, and the jeans are made of recycled denim fibers & repurposed materials.”
When we asked Nathan what’s next for Reco, he answered, “Lots of exciting collaborations! We’re working with Prince Paul on a line of jeans and t-shirts, an exclusive line for Yellow Rat Bastard, and more cool things I’m not allowed to talk about yet.”
We’ll be waiting!
Check out this video showing how Reco Jeans are made, from recycled scrap fabric to finished jeans:
You can watch more exciting videos on the Reco Jeans Youtube channel!
—Michelle Christina Larsen, Photos by nightlifebaby.net
Tags: eco-friendly, endangered plants, environmentally friendly, green denim, green jeans, myny, New York, reco jeans