The inspiration for my up-cycle project is up-cycled fashion which has gained popularity in the fashion industry. The fashion industry is notorious for being wasteful and unsustainable. Fast fashion is a term used for the process of creating cheap trendy clothes and and distributing them quickly so they are readily available to consumers. Fast fashion is a product of our consumerist society and capitalist economy which has allowed business conglomerates like Forever 21, FashionNova, H&M, etc to monopolize the fashion industry. They take trends from influencers and high-fashion brands and find a way to produce them with cheap materials that are not meant to last long. The trends end up to be fads and people move on from the clothes and either donate or throw them away. Most clothes are sent to developing countries after they travel down to donation centers and no one will purchase them anymore and eventually end up in landfills. Only about 20-30 percent of donated clothing is actually resold.
“Pictured: two appalling examples of widespread pollution of waterways. The image on the right is a river in China polluted by clothing dyes from a fast fashion factory, among other heaps of garbage.”
This being said I find it is important for our environment and our society to stop the planned obsolescence of fashion. I think it is important for people to find clothes that make them feel good and look good while also re-using and up-cycling their clothes. I have always been a thrifty person and I love clothes and how every piece can be unique or basic but when you style it properly and wear it with confidence its becomes almost like a second skin. This process is similar to up-cycling, where the product is more valuable than the individual parts it is comprised of are.
These are a few of the up-cycled pieces Liora Lasselle created for the Estethica / Veolia Re-Source competition with Central Saint Martins (CSM).
And while the fashion industry has a lot to catch up on, people have been up-cycling clothes for years. More recently though with the help of resale platforms like Poshmark and Depop, up-cycling and diy-ing clothes has become a trend (in a good way).
This is a picture of up-cycled overalls created by students in Singapore
this is an up-cycled jacket pictured at London Fashion Week
These are up-cycled pieces from BODE a luxury menswear label made in New York and New Delhi.
I think it is important for people to find clothes that make them feel good and look good while also re-using and up-cycling their clothes. It is necessary for our environment and our society to reduce the impact of fast fashion. So with my project I plan on taking inspiration from the thousands of designers and people who are pushing for up-cycling!