Presented in the city rooftop garden of the Brooklyn Grange with a joyful and adrenaline-filled runway show, the colourful SS22 collection draws inspiration directly from the beating heart of Collina Strada. The key pieces — dresses with ruching and oversized cargo trousers, designed to be matched with each other – evoke the style of 2000s skater girls. The billowing dresses and elegant jumpsuits, bags with naïf shapes, layers and mix&match, all made with recycled materials, deadstock and vintage materials, embody the inclusive, genderfluid, sustainable and radically optimistic philosophy of the New York brand. Founded in 2009, Collina Strada (no specific meaning, just words that go well together, says the designer) has not only become a cult brand for the most original fashionistas, but has also attracted a real community of collaborators and muses from the world of art, music and theatre, enticed by the brand’s vision based on authenticity and inclusiveness. “Sustainability is a journey,” reads the brand’s mission statement. As well as being a cornerstone of the company, Collina Strada’s approach – a mix of iron will, transparency and cheekiness – is a real mission that its entire community strives for. Most of Collina Strada’s clothing items are made from deadstock and materials recycled from the brand’s past collections and, thanks to a collaboration with the non-profit OR Foundation, from the notorious Kantamanto market in Accra (Ghana), an huge second-hand market of over 25 million garments every month, 40% of which end up in landfills and the ocean. In addition to upcycling, Hillary is constantly looking for innovative materials with low environmental impact such as sylk, a silk-like material obtained from the natural waste of rose bushes and stems. Moreover, Collina Strada operates locally, further reducing the impact of its garments: all the pieces are sewn in the brand’s factory, and production is limited to a maximum of 500 pieces. This small-scale activity is slowly bringing Hillary Taymour closer to her goal of being 100% sustainable. However, by collaborating with larger companies such as Guccu, Reebok and Levi's, to name a few, she hopes to not only get her message across to a wider audience, but to influence a process of real change. “As sustainable as Collina Strada is, it still has a relative impact within the fashion industry as a whole. Working with a well-known brand can make a difference, and that’s what will help change things for real.”