The water consumption involved in producing a single pair of new jeans is around 1000 liters – quite a statistic, and just one of the many problems caused by textile production. It’s also the challenge that Berlin residents Sophie and Niklas are facing up to with Avenir, the clothing label they founded at the beginning of 2020. The pair met at school and followed the same path, working for major fashion houses in Paris and London including Givenchy, Lavin and Jens Laugesen. But they soon gave up their permanent jobs to unite in pursuit of a shared goal, namely to produce sustainable fashion and in doing so achieve change in the fashion industry. What particularly alarmed Sophie and Niklas was fast fashion, with its rapid fashion trends and associated waste. Offering a real alternative became the duo’s starting point.

A visit to the textile storage halls of the Berliner Stadtmission and I:Collect – where many tons of discarded clothes are collected – confirmed what the pair had suspected: textile overproduction is enormous. So, they then asked, why not simply use existing materials to make garments rather than producing everything from scratch? It turns out this is easier said than done, since using existing material requires more work and creativity to overcome limitations like the dimensions and quantity of the fabric. But for the designers all this is worth it, and looking at their brand’s contemporary styles made from pre-loved denim, you can see why. Besides jeans, Avenir also offers basics like T-shirts, made not from water-sapping cotton but 100% recyclable cellulose. And when you are finished wearing your shirt you can simply send it back to Avenir, who from their recycling centre in Ahrensburg weave the fibres into new fabric, thereby closing the circle and helping reduce the amount of clothes and materials that get thrown away. The duo’s ideas don’t end at upcycling and recycling, however: they are also planning a collab with the Hamburg label Faible and Failure making pieces from leftover yarn – a project well worth supporting! In the meantime, if you want to know more about how Avenir makes their garments you can visit the website which explains the individual stages in full detail.

Text: Annika Hillig / Photos: Debora Brune & Avenir, Styling: Sophia Costima, Model: Friends, Kleidung: Avenir Jacken & Models Own

You can order all the pieces from the Avenir collection online.