Fashion Brand Is Transforming Russia’s Garbage Into Chic Accessories

A yellow backpack made from recycled materials by the brand 99recycle in RussiaAlthough garbage seems to be a worldwide problem, it’s cities like St. Petersburg in Russia that have it worse than other areas. Fortunately for locals, a Russian fashion brand called 99Recycle is working hard to turn the city’s huge piles of garbage into chic and trendy bags and other accessories.

A Successful Recycling Project From Russia

Woman arranging recycled bags on a table inside a workshop 99Recycle is an up-and-coming Russian company whose goal is to collect all kinds of recyclable materials from St. Petersburg’s garbage and transform it into bespoke fashion accessories and school products. The brand recently won Recycle/Upcycle Project of the Year (2020) and is now proudly creating a number of items, including backpacks, bags, laptop cases, and even skateboards and bicycles. Companies can also order branded items from 99Recycle.

Sustainability in Fashion Is a Growing Concern

As the 21st-century rolls on, more and more people are beginning to look at sustainable solutions like using recycled materials for fashion items. Given that this industry is one of the main contributors to worldwide pollution, this shift to sustainable fashion is crucially important. To create its beautiful bags and backpacks, 99Recycle uses a large 3D printer (based on a Hyundai design) that utilizes recycled plastic as a raw material.

Olga Glagoleva, head designer at 99Recycle standing in front of green potted plants holding a glass of milkSo far, the team has collected more than 70 tons of plastic by collaborating with local nonprofits dedicated to recycling different types of materials. One of their projects was led by head designer Olga Glagoleva (pictured above), where the team created a line of hoodies, shirts, and fashion accessories using leftover materials from dairy packaging.

Russia’s Garbage Problem

The reason 99Recycle’s efforts are especially important in Russia is the fact that the country’s landfills are much larger and more poorly managed compared to other European cities. Russia’s throw-away culture continues to contribute to the problem, but 99Recycle is doing its best to educate people through lectures and classes on sustainability and recycling options.