When the phrase “2022 was [blank]” comes up – and it will come up, ad nauseam, until at least the end of January – there are a lot of ways to fill the [blank] part. Some will be astute, some will be funny, some will be perplexing and infuriating. One answer that’s objectively true, though, is that 2022 was a great year for forward-thinking collaborations in fashion and footwear.
As a fact, it’s kind of self-evident – you can see the proof in our list of FUTUREVVORLD’s favorite projects from the last twelve months – with the varied collections, shoes, and charitable intentions being their own confirmation. And that evidence just keeps on coming, this time in the form of zero-waste, zero-plastics label UNLESS COLLECTIVE and its collaboration with legacy mountaineering brand Mammut.
Ostensibly a celebration of International Mountain Day – yes, we’re a little late to that party, given it fell back on December 11th – it’s also a reminder that the natural world is worth celebrating year-round.
With graphic elements that combine resplendent peak-framed landscapes with illustrations charting UNLESS COLLECTIVE’s philosophy and some interesting facts about mountains, the collaboration comprises a minimalist, dual-branded hoodie and t-shirt in a low-key off-white colorway.
Highlighted on the Mammut website – and as is the case with all UNLESS creations – the collaboration makes use of water-based dyes, plant-based materials, and boasts a bio-degradable construction, making it about as Earth-friendly as putting new products out into the world can be. It also draws a pretty clear link between the Portland-based company launched in 2021 and the Swiss label founded in 1862: a love for the planet which goes beyond words and beyond a spirit of adventure – a connection shared on a deeper, more mindful level – and which, according to the founder of UNLESS, marks its first inter-brand collaboration.
And, of course, given that neither brand has a passion for putting materials out into the world without rhyme or reason – neither one a slave to the incessant cycle of drop culture hype – there’s also another angle to this particular link-up: a promise that all profits will make their way to Protect Our Winters Switzerland – a non-profit with a mission, as Mammut puts it, to “[empower] outdoor enthusiasts to become effective climate advocates and achieve systematic change.
As far as making change goes, we may not yet be at the point of moving mountains, but this one certainly ticks the boxes of putting your money (as well as your passion and your ingenuity) where your mouth is.