A Better Sweater: Paradis Perdus Launches With Unisex, Recycled Knitwear

Sweaters pose a nonbinary slant in fit and fabrication, utilizing verified and 100 percent recycled cashmere.

By Kaley Roshitsh on December 1, 2020 WWD Paradis Perdus, a newly launched sustainable knitwear brand. Courtesy With a formal launch on Monday, unisex knitwear line Paradis Perdus is looking to appeal to a discerning luxury consumer. In three words, the brand evokes freedom, consciousness and ease, according to cofounder Thomas Poli, and it’s designed from a “feeling” and catered to friends, rather than a specific market. The 17-piece collection is available via the brand’s web site Paradisperdusnyc.com now, and as of next week exclusively at Net-a-porter. Items range in price from $395 to $895 for knitwear and $110 to $295 for jersey. The collection embodies a retro French DNA in classic shapes from the Sixties and Seventies, with a mix of silhouettes and a nonbinary slant in fit and fabrication. Styles range from Breton to Fair Isle, novelty and classic looks. “It’s for us, our friends and what really makes sense in the moment in terms of colors and shapes,” Poli said. “We create warm and cozy garments people can enjoy, look and feel good in, while still participating in change and being conscious about what is happening in the world and how it impacts the planet.” Launch plans were repeatedly delayed by the coronavirus, however, the cofounders, a group of French-born, New York-based fashion industry veterans (previously Alber Elbaz-era Lanvin and Isabel Marant), only deepened their urgency for delivering a transformative — and transparent — brand. “We did a lot of research and reading when thinking about Paradis Perdus. When you want to truly act in a conscious and sustainable way within the industry, you start to come up with more questions, and as you find answers, you become truly surprised,” said Poli. “Recycled materials come with the lowest impact to the planet, yet they still have some. We have a long road ahead of us to make this process better, and we have decided to start our journey from there.” Paradis Perdus uses only 100 percent recycled cashmere (from the Modena region in Italy), wool and cotton, working hand-in-hand with factories to achieve the lowest possible impact on the planet. All the yarns in the collection are recycled from the stock of discarded sweaters. “Our sources gather tons of cashmere sweaters, which they then separate by material and color. They then cut them apart to remove any unnecessary pieces, such as collars, seams and linking (which are then used for other purposes) and then transform the remaining panels into a new knittable yarn,” Poli said. “The process is amazing to us and what the warehouses are able to do with so much product is both beautiful and mind-blowing.”

And transparency is an enduring goal. Each piece in the collection is subject to a two-step verification. The first is Textile Exchange’s Global Recycled Standard, with the second being a verification by independent auditing firm RemoKey. Along with fiber composition, this audit calculates an approximation of environmental savings on water, CO2 and energy. Information is captured in a QR code on the care tag of each garment, taking customers to the brand’s web site for more insight on each certification. In addition, a “100% Recycled” tag will accompany the brand’s label. “The road to achieving a truly green and ethical fashion industry will be long, but we want to stand firm in our choices to show everyone that it is possible today, and so much better than what is currently being done,” Poli reiterated. As for what’s next? Buttons. True to its fully recycled aim, “We finally found a supplier who transforms old eyeglass frames into buttons,” Poli said. “Next season we’ll have buttons.”

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