Tel Aviv-based designer Dana Cohen has found a way to connect her two conflicting passions: sustainability and fashion. The result is beautifully unique
"Fast fashion" is this elusive term that we all know has something to do with pollution and global warming, but never seem to over think while we finalize our next ASOS order. While environmental activists focus on raising awareness on the extreme dangers of mindless shopping, and fashion industries enjoy the profit of oblivion, the solution might come from innovative young designers, who look not only to create a sustainable future, but also make sure your wardrobe is unique, can survive through more than one laundry cycle, and perhaps many seasons of changing trends.
After graduating from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in 2015, 30-year-old Israeli designer Dana Cohen spent a meaningful student exchange experience in Amsterdam, where she was exposed to the sustainability movement and found a new sense of positivity in the fashion world - deciding to play by a different set of rules.
Driven to make a change in the fast fashion industry, she developed a procedure which gives a new cycle of life to old clothes: discarded knits are shredded into monochromatic fibers and then felted into a new, recycled form of textile. This metamorphosis is illustrated by new knits that are integrated with the recycled textiles. The process includes a combination of machinery and handwork which gives a one-of-a-kind quality to each garment.
"After my first collection received such a positive reaction, I realized that my next move was to make a commercial collection," says Dana. City Growth, her second collection, won the Israeli Mifal HaPayis award and launched at both Tel Aviv Fashion Week and the Vietnam Fashion Week. A limited-edition of the collection is now on sale at Dana Cohen's brand new online shop. "I want my customers to be able to feel unique and beautiful, but also feel good when wearing a garment that has a positive impact on our society" she explains.
The inspiration for City Growth came from the massive growth of Tel Aviv (in many ways Israel's New York City), and the marginalization of agricultural lands in the past 40 years. "My father is a farmer who, over the years lost his lands in favor of the accelerated construction of new buildings into agricultural areas. Part of the challenge is to show that you can create something attractive even if it is recycled. Any material can be reproduced." The colors and textures of the collection are inspired by NASA's aerial photographs that reveal the fast changes of the land in cities all around the world. “Each piece symbolizes the possibility of creating beauty out of something we thought had already ended," says Dana.