Discovering sustainable fashion brands: Repelle
Continuing with the tradition I began some time ago of telling you about my favorite sustainable fashion brands that I have discovered during my travels, well here is my latest find; an Israeli fashion brand called Repelle.
Who is Repelle?
Repelle is a collaboration between two professional fashion designers: Naomi Maaravi and Ayelet Ben-Shahar. The concept of Repelle began, like so many good ideas do, while drinking coffee. What followed was a new ecological brand based on design, art and ideology.
Naomi Maaravi (left) and Ayelet Ben-Shahar (right) in their Tel-Aviv shop.
For Naomi, the love for the sustainable lifestyle comes from her childhood days in the Netherlands (although, for the last 20 years, she calls Israel her home). Naomi’s father taught her that no matter how old or broken an object may be, each and every one has its own little story. He upcycled everything. From making her dolls from sponges, her bedroom floor from rope to her nightlight from milk bottles…creating a world filled with endless creativity and care for their surroundings. So setting up a sustainable eco-fashion brand was a natural next step for the designer.
Inspired by her father, Naomi has a unique way of looking at the design process. The shapes and the materials dictate the design, not the other way around. Naomi’s challenge is to utilize every scrap of fabric, every last button, to create the most stunning and unexpected designs. And because of that, the clothes are unique in so many ways: limited patterns and finishings; a few items per design and amazing attention to details. You are definitely not going to meet someone else with the same dress at a party!
One of a few Israeli sustainable fashion brands, Repelle
Ayelet brought her branding and marketing knowledge into the company. Their partnership helped develop and grow the business to ultimately appeal to the masses and reach many. Together they meshed design, clothing, accessories, limited editions, and one-of-a-kind items into one unique sustainable fashion brand.
Ayelet also brought her love of leather and an Italian background which lead to the “pelle” in “Re-pelle”, as well as many darling leather garments & accessories. Each of them is limited and unique to its story, to the materials used and to the philosophy.
The Repelle studio is built with natural, up-cycled materials. Wooden branches as hanging racks, recycled shelves strapped to the ceiling with old leather belts, matching each detail to their collections. The atmosphere of the store reflects it’s collections: both rooted in fashion etiquette and conserving the earth without harming our surroundings. Repelle is located on the Ruhama Street in the magical Noga district of Jaffa (Tel-Aviv). An intimate neighborhood bustling with artists, designers, architects… just walking these dusty little charming streets makes you feel creative!.
Each item in the store has this cool label where you can see if it’s been up-cycled, limited edition or handmade among other things. Nice, right?
The collection uniquely re-invents itself in each piece by combining both art and fashion to wear and love in every season, day or night. What does this really mean? So many cool things: all the clothes from the previous collections are repurposed into the next collection. Summer tops get sleeves and go into the Autumn/Winter collection, leather items are re-stitched and tops are adorned with amazingly delicate embroidery. Every new collection is unique but the design esthetic is constant.
Delicate embroidery on the Repelle t-shirt.
Amazingly oversized dress. You can fit 3 of me in there and I just could live in it!
Repelle collections embody “slow fashion” that’s characterized by its fit, comfort, quality, and design. Using a neutral color palette throughout all their collections, they’ve enabled a line that can always be re-imagined to keep creating within, using high-end stock, leftover fabrics, yarns and garments with techniques, textures, and dyes to produce limited lines and up-cycled pieces.
Pleated shirt with a gradient. This shirt has a very interesting texture that won’t disappear in a wash. Such a great way to customize a simple shirt into something special.
Repelle’s jewelry line (necklaces, bracelets, rings, pins, clutches) is produced from leftover pieces of leather and/or up-cycled leather jackets. Repelle has a no-waste philosophy, using only upcycled, recycled, and existing materials.
You can see how simple but unique each item is.
This evening dress is a couture, hand embroidered creation by Repelle. I felt like a star in it, needless to say, I couldn’t part with it and took this baby home.
WE LOVE CLOTHES JUST AS MUCH AS WE LOVE PRESERVING THIS PLACE CALLED EARTH
Reality… such a fun day! Photography by Yael Shachar.
What’s your favorite sustainable fashion brand?