Do you know what UPCYCLING is? Or how to reconcile fashion and ecology

“Nothing is lost, nothing is created: everything is transformed”

Every year we throw away 442 million pieces of clothing. Overcycling, or upcycling, is a way of “recovering materials or products that are no longer used. Then transform it into products of higher quality or utility”. So we recycle “from the top down”. As opposed to recycling, which only brings an old product back to life.

Thus, in addition to the ecological benefits of reuse, overcycling provides the opportunity to create unique objects.

While the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries (on this subject: https://lerudite.com/fr/2019/09/25/mode-de-consommation-une-prise-de-conscience-necessaire/), more and more initiatives give a second life to pieces that are destined to be thrown away. To avoid this massive waste, brands have decided to transform this “waste” into better quality pieces.

what is upcycling thimothee chamalet

Thimothée Chamalet in a vintage outfit (Prada)

Testimony that the subject is up to date. Even the Oscars were the scene of a parade of vintage dresses or upcycling..

Can fashion reconciles with ecology?

Trash to Trend is a platform that promotes upcycling and the revaluation of materials in the textile industry. It encourages designers to work at the same time with manufacturers, brands and consumers.

 

Today was the last show of Marine Serre. THE leading designer who understood the future of fashion.

The young designer made herself known to the public with her partially upcycling “Futur Wear” collection. This collection won the LVMH Young Designer Award in 2017.

According to her, being a designer today means knowing how to produce differently. “Why buy fabric in China or Italy, invent prints that we will change the next season, when we can reuse so many fabrics ?” Marine Serre sees an other advantage: “No one will copy our pieces“.

We say about her that “she hybridizes as much as she makes”.

Then, many brands have thought their production methods. And many of them have since released recycled collections.

Marine Serre 2020 Upcycling

It’s also a way to stand out as Lucie Grand Mourcel (Maison Mourcel) says “Today, the stores have standardize almost all we can buy. I think that upcycling has a great future. People have more and more desire to make a difference

Upcycling

Even art is getting into it:

Jeremy Edward collects the clutter we throw away and turns it into works of art.

Photo: Marcel Wanders and his sparkling chair (“chaise pétillante”). Sparkling (“pétillante”) because it is made from 100% recycled PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate).

Then, it is logical that the major fashion schools integrate recycling into their curricula. In this way, they are shaping the minds that will lead the industry of tomorrow. Students have access to fabrics from the off-cuts of the main Houses, which they would not otherwise have had access to. As part of this effort, Sarah Burton recently donated unused fabrics from Alexander McQueen’s archives to students at the University of Westminster and Central Saint Martins School.

I was very fortunate because when I started working for McQueen, Lee helped me find my fabrics for my year-end collection” said Sarah Burton. “It’s an even harder task now. Now that we recognize that our precious resources need to be used wisely.

In fact, nothing has been thrown away since she arrived at McQueen House.

So the project involves the distribution of huge quantities of fabric. Materials accumulated over 10 or 15 years. This availability of material is largely due to over-ordering from factories, a common practice in fashion.

The purpose here is to develop the responsible circular economy in this industry. Let’s hope that other giants will do the same.

When we know that in France 68% of our wardrobe remains in our closet all year round, we no longer hesitate to sort. And we make room in our closets. Don’t hesitate to look for the nearest recycling centre.

 

Our suggestion at l’Erudite Concept Store : 

It is exactly in this spirit that the founders of HACTER created the brand. To offer modern articles from accessories & materials stored for decades and forgotten… That’s also why they produce only very limited collections. They depend on what HACTER chines over the seasons.

In order to guarantee the technicality and know-how necessary for a quality product, the brand has entrusted the production of its products to Portuguese partners. All the factories it works with are family businesses for several generations. They guarantee respect for quality, precision and relationships.

Upcycling Hacter concept