The clothing is literally made from recycled airbags.
They're in your cars and they have been for decades. They keep you and your family safe, especially when they blow up in your face. We're talking about airbags, and they're a brilliant innovation, although they do seem to be the subject of recalls more often than we'd like. Automakers are constantly trying to improve them, but unlike other safety features, airbags are a one-use item. You hope that you never have to use them, but when you do, that's it. You can't patch them up and reinstall them, so what happens to all those used airbags? Previously, we had no idea. Now we know that some of them become clothing for wild fashion designers collaborating with Mercedes-Benz.
Partnering with US designer Heron Preston, Mercedes has launched a concept collection of clothing "that pushes the boundaries of innovation and sustainability in fashion design." The new range is intended to pay homage to the first patent of the airbag which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It's also the 40th anniversary of the airbag's use in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, the first of which was the 1981 S-Class. The used airbags have been "upcycled" and used for both clothing and exclusive merchandise, which will be available via a giveaway on the online fashion store GOAT from September 10th.
Heron Preston explains the decision to collaborate with Mercedes: "Mercedes-Benz and my brand share a common value of reducing our impact on the planet, and that was the starting point of the co-operation [...] Mercedes-Benz is an iconic brand which has such a strong hold on culture - and me being fascinated with culture and someone who shapes it - the partnership felt both exciting and natural."
The clothing is futuristic and unique, and it draws attention to how much of our resources are wasted due to being spent on one-use items. Fashion using materials from cars is nothing new, but perhaps with a big name like Mercedes behind it, more attention will be drawn to it. Helping to increase exposure of the idea of sustainability is the promise to use the inflatable set seen in the accompanying images as an art installation at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin from September 6-8, 2021. Furthermore, Mercedes will this year continue its partnership with Festival Hyeres with the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize, supporting designers who show talent in sustainable fashion.