Upcycling Aesthetic: Gorpcore

For the upcycling project, I am planning on creating a bag or accessory of some sort out of old athletic clothing. The final product will have a gorpcore aesthetic. Gorpcore is an aesthetic or style of clothing that is wearing utilitarian, hiking, tech athletic clothing for leisure. This is very common concept of clothing in Boulder; arc’teryx, North Face, Patagonia, Salomon etc.

Above is ASAP Rocky wearing “Gorcope”.

Back into my upcycling project…how will I do it? I am a runner and have an abundance of old athletic clothing, shoes, and accessories laying around that I no longer use. I plan on utilizing all of those, cutting them up, sewing them together to create a some sort of fabric. This fabric will then be turned into a “gorpcore” based accessory. Ideally, I am thinking a sling bag, or something along those lines.


I decided to go with this aesthetic and project for various reasons. I am an apparel design by trade and have a passion for sport and athletics. It is also as simple as I just have a lot of gear that I have got to do something with. This seems like a good time to go through it and repurpose it.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • This is a very interesting concept and I really enjoy the balance of form and function you’re trying to strike here. In a way, this project will embody the idea of the gorpcore aesthetic more than many existing products being sold, as you are sinking into the utilitarian and survivalist aspect by using upcycled/found/salvaged materials to create something that is artistic and aesthetic while also being useful and reusable after the project is concluded – more than an art piece to sit on a desk. Getting rid of materials that would otherwise be trash or waste is also a significant advantage. You should look into waterproofing technologies and other treatments that may enhance the longevity of your project and its applicability in as many situations as possible.

  • This will be a cool project, you should check out cotopaxi for some inspiration. They make a bunch of bags, especially in different colors and have a sort of random color scheme. Also if you’re planning to make the bag out of clothes I would recommend Boulder Sports Recycler if you need more material, because they have bins of free things outside their store. I think you’d also be interested in Nicole Mclaughlin’s work, she makes stuff like this all the time.

  • Michael Dailey
    February 12, 2023 9:23 pm

    I love the idea of utilizing your old clothes to use in the upcycling project. I’m wondering if that is the primary reason you chose this aesthetic, or if you have some other reason. I think it could be fun for you to cut up the logos and make them into a new design. Whatever you end up doing, I’m excited to see the result.

  • Anil Antony Karathra
    February 12, 2023 4:49 pm

    Hello again India! I absolutely love your idea. I’m guessing you’re aiming to make something similar: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1210049366/hippie-patchwork-fanny-pack-unisex. Also, I’m curious about how you plan to do the closures of your bag. Zippers are definitely the go-to choice but have you considered using velcros?


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