Taryn Sage Larock is making waves in the fashion industry. As a former model and now fashion designer, her passion for fashion and dedication to ocean advocacy reflects in her modern sustainable luxury collection of swimwear and apparel. Her collection is “clothing that is naturally beautiful both inside and out” it is entirely sustainable, ethically made, animal cruelty free and made with the ocean in mind. Sage Larock offers limited edition pieces that have a timeless and classic appeal. At the heart of her clothing line is staying authentic to her love for the ocean by ensuring all of her pieces are made in both a sustainable and ethical manner. A key component to her swimsuit collection and apparel is that they are made from “sustainable fabrics such as organic OEKO-TEX® certified cotton, Italian recycled poly fabric, which is made of recycled fishing nets and plastic debris recovered from the ocean, and extra soft hemp jersey, which is grown and produced without any chemicals” highlighting eco-friendly options that transcend and create sustainable luxury fashion.
Sustainability the New Wave In Fashion
“At Sage Larock, things like the environment, people and integrity have as much high value as beauty, quality and style. We want to work to change the world, but we want to help you look and feel gorgeous while we are doing it.” -Sage Larock
Taryn Sage Larock is using fashion as a platform to raise ocean awareness and prove that you don’t have to sacrifice sustainability for fashion. When designing and creating new pieces for her collection, Tayrn is always thinking about the environmental impact and from that uses her clothing line to raise awareness about sustainable fashion and how important it is to switch to sustainable material options in order for fashion designers and the fashion industry to reduce its environmental impact. Clothing can still be high quality and stylish while being made from sustainable, recycled and non-toxic materials. Her commitment to providing sustainable fashion options draws attention to the escalating issue of society’s relationship with plastic. In particular, her swimsuits are made from reclaimed plastic debris found on the beach or in the ocean. It brings to the forefront that there is absolutely no need to use new plastic to make polyester to create swimsuit materials. It is evident that recycled plastic can produce the same material and not at the cost of sacrificing quality or the integrity of making an ethical product. This dedication to sustainable fashion and using recycled materials also highlights a positive solution to reducing ocean plastic debris.
Q&A with Taryn Larock
1. What inspired you to start a sustainable fashion swimsuit line?
I have always loved being in the water, so I am quite familiar with swimwear! But what really inspired me was becoming educated about the millions of tons of plastic that are dumped into our oceans every year, and also the horrible effect of discarded ghost nets. When I was told that swimwear fabric could be made from these materials, I thought why are were creating millions of tons of plastic (polyester) for swimwear every year when we can easily up-cycle the existing plastic that is in our oceans? Its brilliant that this fabric is being created! There are so many uses for up-cycled marine plastic & fishing nets – I believe this is just the beginning and I’m really excited to see what else can be done with these materials.
2. What do you love most about being a fashion designer?
Being able to have the opportunity to make women feel beautiful in garments created in an ethical & sustainable manner that respect life & our planet is definitely the best part for me.
3. How would you describe the process of making a sustainable fashion line?
The process for me was first getting myself well educated about what is really going on in the fashion industry and then finding out a way to do things in a way that is as ethical and as sustainable as possible. The world definitely does not need a new clothing line, but it does need people and brands who operate in a sustainable manner and who care about life & the environment to help shift the garment industry’s current reliance on cheap slave labor and toxic production methods. People will always want to purchase new things, so the key I believe is to make things in the most considerate, thoughtful way possible, to offer customer’s a high quality product, and produce it in a manner that does not compromise the environment or other’s quality of life.
4. What has your journey been like using the fashion industry as a platform to raise awareness about sustainable fashion and environmental issues?
The fashion industry is one of largest, but also one of the most toxic industries on the planet from the perspective of waste, human rights violations, animal deaths, fresh water pollution and deforestation, and it definitely does not need to be this way. I believe that the fashion industry also has an equal if not greater power (and responsibility) to create real awareness and change, which is what we hope to do, and from the very beginning of Sage Larock this was our number one priority.
I am personally a huge lover of the ocean and everything to do with marine life, so if fashion can be used to raise awareness about this and create some positive change, then that is fantastic. For us, aligning ourselves with individuals such as yourself who really care for our oceans and our planet, and also non-profits have been very effective in driving awareness as well.
Our key points of focus are marine plastic/healthy oceans, protecting old growth forests and habitats from the fashion industry, and raising awareness about the benefits of natural and sustainable materials and production methods.
5. What message would you like to share about sustainable fashion?
I believe creating and consuming things in a sustainable, thoughtful manner is really the only way forward if we are to survive. We need to become aware that the conspicuous consumption we have all been taught is correct and normal has a HUGE cost associated with it. It will not be an easy task to change manufacturing and consuming practices, and to shift global consciousness, but one that I think can be made possible when brands offer consumers sustainable options to fast fashion, and when consumers demand that what they buy is in alignment with their principles. I also believe that being sustainable is not about being perfect, it is simply about being aware of what goes into what we purchase and making the best choices possible for all involved. It could mean creating or purchasing things that are made in an ethical manner, or things from sustainable or up-cycled materials, or buying second hand things, re-using what we have, or a combination of any of these.
6. What does the ocean mean to you?
Everything! I personally prefer to be under water rather than anywhere else.
But really the ocean does mean everything – if we loose our oceans, we are loosing over half of our oxygen.
7. What are your thoughts on the issue of ocean plastic?
Its quite scary really. I was thinking the other day that I have not been on a beach or in the ocean anywhere without seeing plastic in over 5 years. But the good news is that it is not too late and that there is a way out. Less reliance on plastic, more up-cycling and repurposing of existing plastic, more recycling for all countries on the planet, educating each other about alternatives, and using more of what we already have. And of course coming up with a way to clean up our beautiful oceans and keep them healthy.
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Visit their website, Sage Larock: SUSTAINABLE LUXURY – MADE IN L.A.
Photo Credit: Lori Speirs and Sage Larock
Swimsuit: Made by Sage Larock