WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
In 2015, we’ve invited a group of designers to participate in a 2 months upcycling project to explore different ways to upcycle post-consumer materials into contemporary-mainstream garments.
Why upcycle for mainstream?
Upcycling has a minimal environmental impact.
It is not a secret that the fashion industry is wasteful.
From extraction of raw materials (that may require huge fields, excessive amounts of water or the use of toxic dyes), to production processes, consumption and to the inevitable discard of the once new garment – we take, we make, we dispose.
So why upcycling is important?
When we upcycle, we use existing garments that have been discarded because they were no longer trendy, needed or used. We upcycle only quality materials that still have a full life cycle to complete before they can be considered as waste and by recreating, refashioning and re-imagining the possibilities of use of the discarded garment – we create a whole new form of production without the enormous environmental impact that the standard production process would require otherwise.
But that’s not all.
Upcyling as a message of sustainability
Upcycling as a practice has many advantages including bringing its own message of sustainability.
While thrift, consignment and vintage stores are appealing to markets that are conscious of sustainability and/or cost, we believe that upcycling has the potential of appealing to a larger audience.
By carefully choosing the post-consumer materials to upcycle and intentionally design to appeal to mainstream, upcycling can be introduced to markets that have either never been exposed to the notion of upcycling or have had predetermined ideas of upcycling being crafty or artisan.
We believe that by creating a method to upcycle garments for everyday use that are affordable, well made and beautiful, we can expand the message of sustainability beyond its existing niche market and redefine waste as an actual resource.
The goal of the upcycling project was to experiment, explore and challenge our own assumptions working with post-consumer materials and find the best method to upcycle post-consumer material into beautiful, accessable and environmentally friendly garments.
Specifically, designers were asked to design a mini collection (10-15 designs) and fully construct 2-3 looks.