Refashioned, Recycled and Reworked Clothes - Truly Unique
Eco fashion is one of the hottest subjects in the fashion industry at the moment with London Fashion week having its own section Estethica dedicated to eco and ethical fashion. But amongst all of those different amazing and highly sustainable eco fibres, there is not one that can compete in terms of eco credentials with just plain old recycling of clothes. Clothes that have already been manufatured have already stamped their carbon footprint on the environment and so reusing them again has little further impact. Designers are picking up on the fact that the future of the fashion industry is sustainable but many of the new labels and designers recycling, refashioning and reworking old clothes into new are about so much more than just their eco credentials.
Designers are emerging on both the large and small scale with Etsy being a great place for those handmaking recycled pieces to showcase and sell their work. Flickr actually has its own group dedicated to sustainable style and recyled fashion called Trashionista with in excess of 1800 members, where makers of recyled fashion can upload photographs of their work. DIY refashioning of clothes is also becoming hugely popular with it being a much easier option than making clothes from scratch but a great way for someone to take the parts of the piece of clothing that they love and change the rest to exactly as they want. Sites like Threadbanger are leading the way in providing inspiration and DIY tutorials for home refashioners. Wardrobe Refashion is a blog where participants pledge to abstain from the purchase of new manufactured clothing for the period of 2, 4, 6 months or LIFE. They pledge to refashion, renovate, and recycle preloved items with their own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium or make their own from scratch. The blog is proving very popular and gets 20 -30 new posts per week and 65,000 page views per month.
One of the first labels to start recycling clothes in this way in the UK was Junky Styling, founded by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager, who started making clothes for themselves to wear clubbing in the early nineties. The clothes recieved so many compliments that they decided to set up a business. They sourced traditional suits from second hand shops, charity shops and jumble sales and reconstructed them into twisted garments. All of the clothes made by junky styling are completely original and they even offer a 'wardrobe surgery' service where customers can take their old clothes to be restyled have an input into the design process.
Another label that uses recyled fabrics is si:su, they use variety of luxurious fabrics including silks, satins and cottons detailed with vintage ribbons and lace. The clothes are made using 100% recycled materials right down to the buttons and even the thread. Each piece is unique and has a nostalgic feel but with a contemporary edge. Perhaps this is part of the attraction of refashioned clothes, they keep the best bits which remind us of past fashions and bygone days but adapt the styles to suit people of today. They also appeal to those who have their own individual style rather than conforming to trends. As almost all refashioned pieces are one offs, you would be very unlikely to see anyone out and about wearing the same clothes, they are truly unique.
The beautiful and innovative designs must some how be inspired by the pieces of second hand clothing that the designer has to work with, giving them a very different creative process to a brand new piece of clothing designed with very little limitations in terms of types of fabric and cuts. If the majority of these new up and coming eco labels are anything to go buy then this process only adds to the innovative and beautiful nature of the finished piece.
TRAIDRemade was set up directly in response to the problem of excessive clothes waste going into landfill. They produce very wearable and affordable pieces made from textiles donated to TRAID and refashioned in their workshops in Brighton. The clothes are sold at their flagship store in Camden bringing refashioned clothes to the market at prices almost anyone could afford.
Sock Garter made from recycled / thrifted leather and elastic by SwanDiamondrose http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbietron/ / CC BY-NC 2.0
picture from the Junky Styling book launch party http://www.junkystyling.co.uk/news/
Handmade puffball dress and remade leather bag http://www.traid.org.uk/remade.html
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