June 26, 2020

Upcycled Coolness from Montreal Brand Laugh by Lafaille

Laugh by lafaille is a playful and versatile Montreal based brand. The concepts of reconstruction and reprocessing are the driving forces behind the label. Sustainability is an essential factor when it comes to our creative process: Upcycling is a big part of their ethos, where they often create one-of-a-kind pieces.

“I don’t like fashion when it takes itself too seriously,” says Benjamin Lafaille, designer and founder of the upcycling-focused brand, Laugh By Lafaille. Since launching several seasons ago, the ungendered label has offered a range of quirky pieces like graphic t-shirts and asymmetrical blazers, all made from previously-used materials; Laugh was created after Lafaille decided to temporarily shelve his eponymous RTW line, which used new textiles in its collections. And while the label might be named for the lighter side of life, there’s some serious intent behind its new creations. Laugh’s Fall launch boasts even more tailored fare and garments done with meticulous quilted details, and Lafaille has also begun experimenting with dyeing to lend some consistency to pieces within the collection.

“Upcycling still has a lot of boundaries,” he says. “[Material] sourcing is different, and quality cannot be as optimized as with new garments. And everything is unique.” Such limitations pose a challenge in wholesaling for brands like Laugh, and it’s unsurprising that it and other upcycling-centric labels primarily sell directly to their audience right now. “For bigger retailers, it’s scary to buy upcycled pieces,” he says. Still, the designer seems certain that with a growing interest in mindful consumption–even more spurred on with consumers’ changing habits because of COVID-19–upcycling practices will become more prevalent within brands big and small.

As an innovator in the fashion space, Lafaille is optimistic about the changes–and potential for change–within the fashion industry’s traditional practices. He highlights that a shift in the cycle in which clothing is made, purchased by store buyers, and sold would allow freedom for designers that would be much welcomed. “It’s very difficult for designers to keep the pace of seasons,” he says, adding that even two collections a year is a big undertaking for smaller brands. Given his experience with upcycling and the many challenges that model of business presents, it’s heartening to know positivity prevails. (Source) All images from Laugh by Lefaille