I’ve come across a few designers who demonstrate brilliant, clever ways of re-using fabrics and old clothing waste, and they will be influencing my final product on this “Re-Fashion” project.
From Somewhere is a fashion design studio based in Peckham, London and they have been upcycling since 1997.
Upcycling- reuse (discarded objects or material) in a way to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Upcycling can improve the fashion industry in 3 ways:
- It’s sustainable. Making a single cotton T-shirt requires over 700 gallons of water, whereas using a pre-existing T-shirt to make something new requires almost no water. It can also resolve some of the 85% of textile waste that ends up in landfills.
- It’s cost-effective. Upcycling can be less expensive since used or pre-existing materials are a fraction of the cost of newly-made materials and textiles.
- It’s creative. Upcycling needs creativity to carry out the potential of existing materials to create something new and beautiful.
They have made a business in creating stunning collections from materials that would usually be thrown into the bins. They are created from luxury designer pre- consumer waste like proofs, swatches, production off-cuts and end of rolls.
This blog discusses “Cozy Knits for the Cold Weather”, which are my favorites by From Somewhere.
Each design has its own individual detailing, which is what makes From Somewhere so special. The challenge of re creating a new garment from clothing waste might have you expect that styles are limited, but the knitwear proves the complete opposite. The first knitwear piece takes on a very different silhouette and approach to a typical jumper, or dress, and it works! The textiles of the third and last pieces are what strikes me most- the richness in textures and how the varieties of fabrics from different wastes compliment each other well as one. I will definitely attempt this scrunched effect with the parts of my jacket, I can already foresee the lining, wool, collar to be stitched in this way.
Stephen Hann is a fashion designer from Berlin, and describes his aesthetic as “recycling couture”. He has claimed, “I recycle elements of civilization.”and “I work with fragments of our civilized human existence from various ages.”
His innovation is combining fashionable materials and unconventional ones too. In this dress, it seems like the papers are from books, since they seem discolored. He composes the pages to suggest a fish scale effect, and the effect is a dramatic, flamboyant dress with an incredible amount of texture.
This piece is constructed with rolled up celluloid strips,creating a very delicate and difficult structure. Especially with the loops travelling over the shoulders and to the models’ back, it almost seems like an organic structure. Hann proves that a couture piece can be made with unconventional materials, especially in a sustainable way, which enhances it’s quality more.
These dresses are made of thousands of Tetra Paks cut into tiny squares and sewn together to suggest fish scales. Tetra Paks is a Swedish food packaging company. With the clean cut squared template of the packaging, a sweet look is achieved quite easily, almost like the dresses of the 60s.
Other than these materials, Hann also uses foil caps of champagne bottles, printed photo paper, wallets, blister packs and even light bulbs! For my garment, I will perhaps attempt a fragile sculptural piece like the one with celluloid strips using my suit jacket, and see what can come out of using strips of wool and lining. The intricate form can also respond to the vulnerability I found in Isabelle Caro’s insecurity as an anorexic model.
Geoffery B. Small was one of the first avante-garde designers to have a show in Paris. In this clip, he argues the importance and impact of sustainable fashion not only on the environment, but in ourselves as human beings and what we want from life. He saw a definite rise in sales when he released more handmade products, because he feels that people now crave for a creation that’s humane and valuable. Before, everybody was crazy over machine made products because it was a huge new invention. Now, society does not care anymore, because it has become a normality- everything can be made with machines. Also, a pricey handmade item can last much longer than a cheap, fast produced one, and one item saves you more money than “purchasing from Target often”.
Geoffrey’s pieces definitely portray a high quality softness and warmth in the sense of a humane quality, and literal warmth. Due to his speech, I am very much aware of why sustainable fashion can change our way of living, and how our future generations can evolve so much more with this beneficial act if we start now.