Some items in the collection are made from yarns and fabrics made with upcycled marine plastic debris and fishing gear recovered from coastlines and islands around the world, especially the Maldives, Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka, and transformed into high-performance materials by Parley and its global network.
Kim Jones, artistic director of menswear, said he began efforts to introduce more sustainable fabrics as soon as he arrived at Dior four years ago. “We do that a lot. It’s just something that’s not really talked about, so I said, let’s do a collection where we can talk about it because it’s important,” he said during a preview.
Parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has said that by 2030, all of its new products should result from eco-design — which it described as being produced with a minimal environmental footprint, from the extraction of materials to their transformation.
“We do a huge amount of sustainability because you know how much I care about nature and the world, and where I don’t do it at work, I do it in my private life,” said Jones, who grew up on the African continent and is passionate about preserving the environment and rare animals.
“It’s also got to fit to the quality control of LVMH, so that’s really important, and our customers want a certain standard, so it took us quite a long time to get to be able to get these fabrics passed,” he added.
The teams at Dior used the recycled polyester developed by Parley to create fabrics including a jacquard, a mesh knit and a technical canvas. Working in a palette of blues and ochres, they wove in patterns such as the house’s signature Oblique, as well a ripple graphic motif from the archives, known as the Adriatic.
It appears on items including a shirt jacket and cargo shorts, as well as accessories such as a water bottle holder. The travel-friendly collection features a wealth of casual items, including poplin pants, a polo shirt and packable jackets that fit into a curved pouch inspired by the Saddle handbag.
Meanwhile, B23 sneakers come in a variation on the Adriatic fabric, and feature bio-based plastic soles. The collection will be available in Dior stores that carry menswear beginning April 14.
Cyrill Gutsch, founder and chief executive officer of Parley for the Oceans, said the latest scientific evidence highlighted the need for urgent action in every sector of society. “Creating this first collection with Dior is a call for the fashion industry to revolutionize its production methods,” he said in a statement.
The organization has previously partnered with brands such as Adidas, as well as artists including Kenny Scharf and singer M.I.A. to raise awareness of ocean pollution.
The Dior collection supports its Parley X10 impact program, which aims to guarantee that 10 times the equivalent of each product’s carbon and plastic footprint will be intercepted from nature; fund the development of materials that can replace plastic long term, and avoid the use of new, virgin plastic.