Fashion around the world has undergone many changes since the beginning of the pandemic. Most of the changes were expected, but the pandemic expedited adaptations that were supposed to take around five years.

One of these trends is sustainability.

For several years we’ve been reading in business reports that fashion brands should focus on being more sustainable. But Covid has made everyone realize how they are dependent on a supply chain that involves many countries around the globe; that they should care about their employees at all levels (#payup campaign); and that the next climate disruption or variant might be around the corner.

Therefore, they should implement sustainable practices that are right and that consumers demand.

In Israel, we already see many designers creating more sustainable collections that can be defined in various ways from sourcing more eco-friendly materials or upcycling existing ones to producing locally in Israel, to creating small collections and making sure every worker in the value chain is getting paid as they should.

There are more events and conversations about sustainability in Israeli fashion and even Tel Aviv Fashion Week celebrated sustainability with their sponsor Kornit Digital.

Here are three designers who are upcycling materials to create something new and exciting.

‘Nothing goes to waste’

Bhadra Adi Goldshmit made a wedding dress (center) from her client’s “cow” dress (right). When the client got married a second time, Goldshmit remade the dress once again (left). Photos by Nadav Ariel

Israel is well known for its bridal couture, but wedding dresses are very expensive and used once, which is a huge environmental problem.

Bhadra Goldshmit, who has an eco-fashion bridal dresses business, started using leftover fabrics to create upcycled dresses and tops when a neighbor asked her to create a wedding dress for her. From that point on, women started to reach out to Goldshmit.

The first few came because they couldn’t afford a new wedding dress.

“That was a great solution for them since my business is friendly for the environment and for the bride’s pocket and soul,” she says proudly.

Today, women are coming to the Bhadra Ecofashion studio with white dresses that a relative once wore for her wedding or with simple white dresses they had in their own wardrobe. “One of the first women called me and said, ‘I don’t have white dresses to bring to our meeting, but I do have a bag full of chemises,’ so I made her a wedding dress out of those.”

Goldshmit works on the dress while it is on the bride’s body so that the bride can tell immediately if there is something she doesn’t like. Goldshmit then adds lace, buttons or any other leftover decoration she has in her studio from other clients.

“Sometimes there are items that sit and wait for years to find their destiny,” she says. “I just recently used a pearl necklace someone left here almost 12 years ago. Nothing goes to waste, and every item has a purpose.”

Click here for more information.

Remeant is an Israeli startup using technology to upcycle plastic from packaging materials into an eco-friendly textile.

A pillow covered in fabric made from discarded bubble wrap. Photo courtesy of Remeant

Textile designer Elinor Nathaniel, cofounder of Remeant, says, “I did a lot of research because I wanted to find a solution for all this plastic waste. It took me time but after I finally managed to create the textile, we started with our own products such as tote bags, backpacks and wallets. Then we realized we want to share the textile with everyone.”

Today, brands and designers can buy their own eco-fashion textile from Remeant. It comes in different colors and textures including bubble wrap, metallic, marble and plain.

Click here for more details on Remeant.

Noa Sharon is a jewelry designer and one of the founders of a Facebook group with thousands of Israelis who are interested in sustainability in fashion.

“In a business, you have many strategic decisions to make in various aspects from transportation and shipping through marketing to the actual process of creation,” she says. “For me, every decision was a crossroad to decide if I choose the sustainable way or not.”

In her Tel Aviv studio, she designs in small quantities and doesn’t do full collections of rings, earrings, necklaces, etc. “I create when I feel it is something unique, beautiful and creative. Some of my sets only contain a ring and earrings, for example.”

In terms of materials, Sharon works with a family business that provides her with leftover metals such as silver and gold, and nothing goes to waste. She upcycles leftovers from all her work.

This Noa Sharon ring is made from scrap gold wire. Photo courtesy of Noa Sharon

“I just recently created beautiful earrings just from what I had left on my table,” she says.

She loves playing with new techniques to discover more options of creation. Almost the entire cycle of creation is locally made in Tel- Aviv with Sharon purchasing the majority of her tools and materials from Israel.

Click here to visit Noa Sharon’s Etsy Store.