It took us a long ride to include the words ‘recycle’ and ‘upcycle’ into our fashionable vocabulary. Better late than never!
In a time when sustainability, eco-friendly and climate change must be the terms we care about, fashion insiders started to ask themselves how fashion could be original, affordable and aesthetically appealing while not damaging the planet. If the fashion industry is known for anything, that is annulling boundaries and making illusions become reality. While recycling stands for diminishing waste and keep using the same item over again, upcycling means re-using a pre-loved item in a different way than before while elevating its value and appeal.
And what is fashion but the art of reinvention?
Young voices have shed light on an issue the world has been facing for a while: climate change. Therefore, – mostly – young generations of designers and fashion influences have led the path to put the fashion industry and its production system in a sustainable place where the planet would be kindly treated.
Let us enlighten and introduce you to some of the female-led upcycle brands that are currently changing the fashion game.
1. Rua Carlota was founded in London by Charlotte Rose Kirkham, an artist who is a pre-loved clothing enthusiast. She creates stunning geometrical pieces out of deadstock which enables the customer to appreciate not only the outcome but also the process and construction of it. Her lettuce hem pieces are fabulous and original, and due to the assembly system, there aren’t two identical items.
2. Antiform was born and bred in England and it offers fashion-forward products with a vintage twist while saving deadstock to be burnt in landfields. The company was established in 2007 and it has been led by fashion designer, consultant and researcher Lizzie Harrison since, accompanied by a group of super talented women. Antiform does not only co-operate with the fashion industry in a sustainable way, but the team is also available for lectures and installations to educate and teach others about their labour and sustainability in fashion.
3. The R Collective is a sustainable upcycled brand created by Redress’ founder, Christina Dean, who in collaboration with a group of fashion professionals have a common goal: to create the world’s best sustainable fashion brand that reduces waste and pollution and also empowers consumers and raises funds for the charity Redress. In order to create stunning and innovative garments, The R Collective use wasted materials from other brands and upcycle them through sustainable and creative techniques.
4. Anekdot is a lingerie and swimwear brand started by Swedish designer Sofie Andersson. The brand’s task consists in turning materials leftovers and deadstock into beautiful and meaningful designs for women to be comfortable. The purpose of Anekdot is to reduce carbon emissions, while making sure the garments produced last. All the items are limited edition and each of them has a story to tell.