Genderless fashion pioneer The Phluid Project is evolving further by going green for the long haul.
This September, The Phluid Project will bring its sustainable rebrand to Nordstrom, as part of a permanent collection with the retailer. The collection will be available in select Nordstrom stores across the country and online.
A mix of upcycled, crocheted creations and signature basics, the line will come in sizes XS to XL at launch (with plans to iterate further) and uses a mixture of deadstock and upcycled fabrics, recycled polyester and organic cotton. According to founder Rob Smith, the signature basics are made with cotton and recycled cotton blends. Although specific percentages were not provided, Smith affirmed the brand went above and beyond Nordstrom’s mandated sustainability criteria.
For Nordstrom, “the partnership with The Phluid Project marks an opportunity to extend the work we’ve been doing internally in partnership with Rob and team,” a company spokesperson said. The retailer has already committed to science-based targets and outlined goals on clothing donation, recycling, gender parity and more.
Given the urgency of the climate crisis, Smith believes it’s more relevant than ever to combine gender-free fashion with “earth-friendly” fashion.
“The vision [of this collection] is where we want to move Phluid altogether,” he said. “This is just the beginning of the movement.”
The holistic values of Generation Z — a cohort that largely believes in environmental and social justice, human rights, fluid identities and acceptance — may be best captured in something more all-encompassing like “Gen We,” as “holistic” is the word for how Phluid is embracing sustainability, Smith said.
Mutual aid for the LGBTQ community is nothing new for the brand, having done a past collaboration with Saks Off 5th that funneled 100 percent of sales toward The Phluid Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the community, particularly trans women of color and homeless queer youth, across the nation.
The efforts coincide with Phluid’s design ethos “RISE,” which stands for responsibility, inclusion, solutions and expression — elements that have “always been a part of how I create product,” Smith said.
“The inclusion has been easy because of its size and price point. Solutions: we listen to customers and what their challenges are, especially if you’re a gender-expansive person. Responsibility is [for example] who does our printing, we ensure that they hire interns or people to learn skills who may have dropped out of high school. We pay the extra money to always do the responsible thing in production, but this [collection] takes it to the next level,” Smith said. “This has been the missing piece of the prize.”