Gucci has been stealing the spotlight of many luxury brands in the past few years because of Alessandro Michele’s succession. Brands like Prada, who has had the same creative directors for decades (we are talking about the dates before Raf Simons), may be facing a problem of innovation in design and technology. On the surface, it looks like Prada took their chance to rejuvenate their brand image by the craze over nylon baguette bags, but little did you know that there’s more behind that.
Miuccia Prada was once a revolutionist and innovator just like Michele. After her takeover of the brand, she experimented with a material that was not familiar in the late 70s. Miuccia Prada wanted to bring functionality and durability to her luxury offerings which was viewed as a new approach to refinement by the fashion critics of the time. She took 3 years to figure out how to work with nylon and came up with the famous “anti-fashion” nylon backpack. The light weight and waterproof nylon material, which seems to be a regular material to use now, disrupted the dated brand ideals of the old Prada and was a successful pivot for the brand to secure a place in the competitive luxury leather bag and trunk industry.
Fast-forward to now, Prada continues to re-invent the fabric they once took years to innovate. This time, the famous Italian luxury house focuses on sustainability, something that we need now, hence the Re-Nylon initiative is born. The aim of the new revolution is to manufacture all of their iconic virgin nylon products with regenerated nylon by 2021. ECONYL® regenerated nylon is a product introduced in 2011 by Aquafil. It is made entirely from ocean and landfill waste, such as industrial plastic, fabric scraps from clothing manufacturing companies, old carpets and “ghost nets”.
Prada is not the first luxury brand that is changing their manufacturing process to meet the SDG goals, however, it is good to see that they are taking action towards sustainable production of their iconic nylon items. Recently, as of the end of 2020, Prada has expanded to over 30 items including shoes and accessories that uses regenerated nylon.
To learn more about how Prada is working towards their sustainability mission, watch their documentary series:
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