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Monday, November 23, 2020

Grammy-nominated DJ, Steve Aoki, Has A Sustainable Vision for the Future of Fashion—and Music

Steve Aoki
Photo courtesy of Dim Mak Collections

By Kyley Warren

Fashinnovation hosted its annual fashion sustainability summit—better known as the Fashinnovation Worldwide Talk—this past week, which featured powerhouse speakers like Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless, ThredUp CEO James Reinhart, and celebrity stylist Rebecca Minkoff.

The event has been referred to as “the Ted Talk of the fashion world,” as it provides a space for creators within the industry to connect with one another, as well as with their consumers. The Fashinnovation motto—Fashion is To Love—offers a glimpse into what sort of narrative these conversations are meant to drive. 

As fashion trends continue to shift within the industry, each one points toward overlapping themes of diversity, empowerment, creativity, and sustainability. Fashion designers and brands are becoming more intentional in their product development, and as a result, the styles they’re creating are reflective of that movement.

Music Meets Conscious Living

Steve Aoki, the two-time Grammy-nominated DJ and entrepreneur whose discussion closed out the summit, is a prime example of that. 

Aoki has become well known within the music industry, thanks to his popular collaborations with artists like Migos and Kid Cudi, among others. But for Aoki, he sees his legacy as something beyond music. He’s not strictly a musician or beat maker, he’s a creator who refuses to be bound by titles. And, his emergence in the world of sustainable fashion proves that he’s more than capable of managing a career in cross-industry work.

“For me, I love collaborating outside of my space. You want to constantly learn and to be a student, and to go in with no ego,” Aoki said in his Fashinnovation conversation. “We keep bridging into different cultures and different worlds, and the diversity itself will help you be a better human being. There’s challenges in that, because you don’t understand that world—but that’s where you learn the most.”

Innovative Trends

His Fashinnovation discussion was inspired by his recent partnership with Alberto Candiani, the owner of Candiani Mill. Together, the duo debuted their first collaboration Dim Mak x Candiani EC-01, which was crafted with ReGEN Denim—a water-saving and sustainably made jean, with each pair featuring hand-painted designs by Aoki and his Dim Mak artisans.

The new five-pocket straight fit jean is made without using any fresh cotton, and the fabric denim is composed of equal parts recycled cotton, made from Candiani Mill’s own production waste. Plus, the yarn for the denim was also dyed using Candiani’s water-saving Indigo juice. 

“To be efficient is the very first step you need to take to be sustainable. So, you don’t want to create waste. But if you do, at any level, then you just want to make sure you recycle it,” Candiani said. “We’re trying to lower our impact by recycling. Also, we’re trying to neutralize our impact. Everyone’s talking about biodegradable products—but I believe we can go even farther in the near future with regenerative products.” 

The new EC-01 jean, which retails for $150, is a glimpse into the innovative production technologies that Aoki and Candiani will continue adopting throughout their partnership. These decisions to “craft with intentionality” is what has managed to set their collaboration apart—and what will likely inspire other brands and fashion professionals, to follow in their forward-thinking footsteps. 

The Future is Sustainable

For Aoki, he sees the balance of work between music and fashion as an opportunity to make a greater change and push towards sustainable living. Through his following, he can move the trend forward.

“I think I have a responsibility to use my platform in the way in which I perceive it. Everyone has their own opinions and perspectives. Alberto’s all about fashion and sustainability, and making a statement in that. So, if I can link with that, that’s a big deal for me. And if I get inspired by that, I’m following that inspiration,” Aoki said. “The more people keep talking about it and doing it [living sustainably] the more normalized it gets.”

For more information on the Dim Mak x Candiani EC-01 collaboration, visit the official website.

Keep up with all of Green Living’s content by visiting our website.


Kyley Warren is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, and the Assistant Editor of Green Living Magazine.

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