PLNGNS searches new silhouettes by rethinking existing ones. They disassemble old shoes and creates something new by reworking the pieces. The idea is to build up a brand that turns old unsuitable shoes into custom design items, promoting sustainable development in fashion and tackling consumption culture in Ukraine. PLNGNS compares the process of making such shoes and clothes to painting on canvas: when the elements are added on the go, the design can evolve along the way. The brand founded in August 2021. And there is an environmental advantage: parts of old shoes are used to create new goods with almost no carbon footprint, and the rest is completely recycled. Old sneakers do not need to be burned as garbage, "We show that there is another way out".


This season, the collection called "Ain't it different?", by Mitya Hontarenko for PLNGNS once again exemplifies how sustainability, craftsmanship, and zeitgeist come together. The Ukrainian designer presented looks crafted exclusively from upcycled and recycled materials, primarily sneakers.

It is the second season for PLNGNS (Palingenesy)at the Berlin Fashion Week and as part of Berlin Contemporary. Founded by Mitya Hontarenko in 2021, the label has already gained attention for its artistically upcycled sneaker creations. This time around, the Ukrainian newcomer label is unveiling its first-ever complete Ready-to-wear collection during the BFW. It not only showcases the ingenious creativity of Mitya Hontarenko but also serves as a prime example of how sustainability, exceptional craftsmanship, and contemporary spirit can seamlessly blend together. Crafted exclusively from upcycled materials, the Runway Show also illustrates various upcycling techniques and their integration into each collection.

PLNGNS' Runway Show took place at the NEWEST-Showspace, within the Pressecafé. Alongside a specially composed soundtrack, a blend of electronic beats and traditional Ukrainian music, the designer consciously opted for non-professional models. The reason being: to provide everyone, not just models, with the opportunity to be part of the PLNGNS runway experience.

Mitya Hontarenko shares the backstory of the collection in this interview:

PLNGNS is making waves right now, and your unique approach to sustainability through upcycled materials is turning heads. What's the core message you aim to convey through your fashion?

I'm here to showcase my perspective and challenge the established norms of the fashion game. I want to voice my disagreement, especially concerning the pitfalls of fast fashion and the lack of genuinely sustainable practices in major fashion corporations. On the flip side, we're not just talking about the problem; we're actively solving it by presenting alternatives. We transform garment leftovers and waste into wearable art, challenging the conventional narrative.

Your ready-to-wear collection is boldly titled "Ain't it different?". What´´ the message? 

Primarily, it's a call to change the way big fashion companies handle their waste "management." We want to spotlight that there are alternative approaches. Our main concept is to reveal a more intricate, non-standard method of creating captivating pieces, playing with materials in innovative ways. The collection reflects our evolution over the past few years, experimenting with diverse materials and manufacturing techniques. It's a comprehensive showcase of time and experimentation all in one place.

PLNGNS-DNA incorporates cutting-edge upcycled garments in various facets. Which materials take the spotlight for Fall/Winter 2024/25? 

We're working with a diverse range of materials, focusing on three main lines for this collection:

  • 1. Recycling materials crafted from used sneaker uppers and details.
  • 2. Restoke hand-painted nylon.
  • 3. Recycled materials derived from used compression hand-painted shirts.

Any standout favorites in the collection?

It's tough to pick a favorite because each piece is a result of a constant search for balance in designing with different recycled materials. They're all special to me, especially those where we successfully blend numerous shoe details.

What specials need to be mentioned this season? 

"Exactly. We collaborated with independent designers. For accessories like headwear and bags, we partnered with Oleksandra Dzhula and Vladimir Ilcenko, for instance. With our longstanding partner, Vibram Connection Lab, we achieved a highly innovative recycled shoe sole. And let's not forget our charity project: In collaboration with the Ukrainian brand Wild Heart, founded by anonymous young designers, we created t-shirts, which we sold directly after the show. All proceeds support those whose homes were occupied by Russian armies, forcing them to leave their homeland. It's our small way of making a big impact."

Looking at the season overall, what's your personal highlight?

I'm thrilled to see more creative enthusiasts gaining recognition from major corporations. It signals that not all is lost in this "fast fashion" century.

All images, brand descriptions and further information are available at the official Berlin Fashion Week MEDIA HUB.

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