5 MUST-KNOW UPCYCLING FASHION BRANDS
GREAT DESIGN MADE FROM WASTE
It's an interesting thing to behold when you have to teach your spellchecker to learn the word 'Upcycling'. Whilst it might not be on the lips of the Collins Dictionary, it's certainly becoming ubiquitous amongst fashionistas and start-up brands. For the uninitiated, upcycling is when an item that was otherwise going to be wasted is used to make a new product that is far better in design and utility than the original. Here for your viewing pleasure and in no discernible order, are our top 5 Upcycling brands to keep an eye on.
New Globe Traveller
New Globe Traveller is introducing the world's first range of premium products made from upcycled leather and tyre inner tubes, where every time you buy a bag you also support the education of a child for a year. Their manufacturing partners work with leading leather factories to source unused, high quality leather pieces that would otherwise have been disposed. Warning; don't try this at home, it takes a modicum of skill to make inner tubes look this chic.
I've been banging the drum for these guys for some time now. Freitag has been headquartered at the Nœrd industrial complex in Zurich-Oerlikon since 2011. This is where the truck tarps they collect are taken apart, washed and cut up. Inspired by the multicolored heavy traffic that rumbled through the Zurich transit intersection in front of their flat, the owners developed a messenger bag from used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. This is how the first Freitag bags took shape in the living room of their shared apartment – each one recycled, each one unique.
The outdoor gear manufacturer Patagonia encourages its customers to bring garments in for repair when they wear out rather than replacing them. They also have used clothing sales through one of its Portland stores, and accepts Patagonia garments back for recycling too. They have drop-off stations in every store and they even have a blog called Worn Wear that shares stories about adventuring in their gear (often over decades and even generations).
Remade in Britain
Remade in Britain is the UK's largest upcycling and vintage marketplace specialising in upcycled furniture, upcycled home accessories and eco gifts. With a large selection of upcycling materials including chalk paint, it is also a great place to source and salvage for your own DIY upcycling projects. Highlights from the online collection include these fantastic cufflinks made from recycled original Xbox controller buttons.
It's made a few column inches this week when G-Star and Co-Owner Pharrell Williams have launched a SS17 collection. This partnership came after two years of collaboration between G-Star and Pharrell Williams’ company Bionic Yarn for RAW for the Oceans, transforming recycled ocean plastic into denim. With established compatibilities in design ethos and creativity, Pharrell’s involvement with G-Star emerged to be natural fit, both being recognised for a shared pursuit of innovation.
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