Monday, September 28, 2009

"Customised" clothing on the high street

Amka 'Trench Dress' All Saints £145.00: Dress that looks like it has been made from a coat
Karen Millen 'customised t-shirt' £69.95

Thursday, September 24, 2009


'Focuses on value and the re-valuing of things'

The Elvis and Kresse organisation have built their business transforming unwanted fire hoses into luxury handbags. Speaking recently at Crafting Mass Production, a seminar as part of the Greengaged Design Council series, Kresse Wesling saw her business as ‘building value into waste’ (Wesling 2009). Thinking long term however, it may be argued that the fire hoses are not diverted from landfill, merely delayed as they are transformed into another product.

‘Many researchers are beginning to suspect that recycling actually provides an ethical get out of jail free card which liberates consumer conscience and in doing so generates even more waste,’ (Chapman 2005 p.10).

Although upcycling and recycling rely on a supply of clothing waste (generated in part by the disposable nature of cheap clothing) they have a role to play within our fashion system short term. Through education and awareness of the reasons for recycling and upcycling, these business initiatives have the potential to influence lifecycle thinking and change attitudes towards consumption through unique fashion garments.

The work of E&KO was also the inspiration for the 'Wasted' installation at the V&A as part of the Design Festival September 2009.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fashion Diversity@Museum of London

As part of London Fashion Week the Museum of London has been involved in a series of workshops and fashion shows held in the main foyer of the Museum as 'Fashion Diversity'. The photos here are a couple of outfits from the Junky Styling collection.

Whilst looking around the museum I noticed an interesting comment within the 'trade' themes. It is a quote from a trader in the 17th century but the name was not listed:

"If I should begin to set down the variety of fashions and foreign stuffs brought into England in these items I might seem to number to starts of heaven and sands of the sea"

Although globalisation has become an issue for great debate, trade and export of goods have always been a large part of the history of London.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Radley & The Heart Foundation

The above window notice in this Radly shop reads:

"£40 off your new handbag when you donate an old one,
all donations go to the heart foundation see in store for details"

This photo of the shop was taken at the start of the summer, so I am unsure if the project is still running. I thought it was worth a mention here, as it is another example of high street retailers supporting charities by encouraging their consumers to donate their unwanted fashion products.

It is vital for consumers to become familiar and comfortable with the ideas of donating and reusing clothing and accessories.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Monsoon Campaign - Clothes for Life

Another national high street retailer taking action to encourage consumers to reuse, pass on and donate their unwanted clothing.

Monsoon have launched the 'Clothes for life' campaign
where you will receive a £5 voucher for future purchases of Monsoon clothing (over £30) when you take to the store and donate items of unwanted Monsoon clothing.

The money raised from the resale of these clothes will help support the NewLife Foundation.

Initiatives like this provide fantastic potential source material for Upcycling designers. Maybe to make more people aware of the scheme Monsoon could pass on some of the clothing to Upcycling designers/student designers to create unique garment designs from unwanted Monsoon clothing. The remade and one off pieces would be of a higher value and able to raise more money for the charity.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

M&S Waste Targets

A reminder on the wall at M&S in Leeds of their target for zero waste as part of plan A.
Upcycling is a creative and unique way for clothing to be transformed and as such can play a vital role in diverting unwanted clothing items away from landfill sites.

The Marks and Spencer union with Oxfam will also support their campaign for no clothing to end up in landfill. The importance of reusing, donating and wearing for longer is communicated through this target, and upcycling combines all three.