Fashion insists on forwardness but on the contrary, every step of the fashion industry and clothing production process drags us to a state of destruction of the planet. From using pesticides to grow cotton to washing and treating the fabric and dyeing them to get vibrant shades; everything is intensely wasteful and leads to a staggering amount of pollution every year.
The issue is bigger than what we may imagine as all we know to do with our old unfashionable clothes is to discard them with other waste which ends up in the landfill.
So, what's the way out? Either we buy less or buy upcycled fashion. Buying less is surely great for our planet but bad for the economy and everyone dependent on manufacturing industries for their livelihoods.
Upcycling is thus the ideal middle path that helps maintain the economic growth without being destructive and here we talk of brands that take recycling close to their business ethics.
With a less-than-conventional approach to marketing, the outdoor gear manufacturer-Patagonia encourages its customers to buy less.
The customers are encouraged to bring worn-out clothes for repair rather than replacing them through its Portland stores. It is also one of the first to turn plastic bottles into the polar fleece and uses recycled polyester, wool and down in many of its products.
Being committed to sustainability from top to bottom, Reformation uses recycled paper to non-toxic cleaning supplies to energy-efficient lighting. The brand repurposes vintage clothing and rescues deadstock fabric from fashion houses. It uses eco-friendly fabrics to make sexy, sophisticated styles.
This ethical fashion brand upcycles aluminum ring pulls on drink cans into glamorous clothing and accessories. The label has been created by Cameron Saul who is the son of the founder of Mulberry (Roger Saul). The brand is well-known for its beautiful bags aimed at the luxury market and creates a sustainable livelihood for highly skilled craftsmen.
Leather scraps which remain as residue post-production in leather goods factories, end up as landfill. TRMTAB aims to reduce this amount of scrap by diverting its use in creating beautifully woven bags and electronic cases.
The sub-line of Matthew Williams' 1017 ALYX 9SM, ALYX produces cotton jersey textile in collaboration with Recover Tex, which is a Spanish recycler that converts both pre-worn clothes and ocean waste into upcycled yarn. The yarn is spun into a fabric used to make tees and hoodies.
This sustainable clothing brand produces socks made from 100% organic cotton grown and manufactured in the USA. They take pride in their undyed fabrics to create simply beautiful, earthy toned socks.
Fabscrap utilizes fiber-to-fiber technologies and diverts small scraps to create insulation, carpet padding, furniture lining, and moving blankets.
It sorts for 100% cotton, 100% polyester and 100% wool and sells larger pieces and scrap packs of smaller pieces organized by color online, to be used by students, artists, crafters, sewers and designers.
This London based brand recycles plastic bottles into strong pieces and combines them with organic cotton to make jumpers. 18 bottles are being used in a single jumper and the surplus material from jumpers' production is used to make short sleeve version.