Sustainable fashion: what’s upcycling?

The development of a more Sustainable Fashion Industry involves 3 inter-related strands of work, according to ‘pioneer and an internationally recognized opinion leader in sustainable fashion’ Orsola de Castro. They are, she says in this 2013 TED talk, a) Fair Trade and ethical fashion, b) use of man-made and biodegradable materials, and c) recycling and upcycling.

In this talk, she explains how she became fascinated with the potential for up cycling, making and selling new garments using materials that would have otherwise been thrown away.

You can read more about Orsola and her work in this 2010 Telegraph article. It contains these ethical fashion tips

Buy clothes with longing and desire, don’t buy on a whim, and always buy thinking you will pass it on to someone else. That way you will buy good quality and classic styles. Take the time to learn how to sew and mend. Sewing machines are very exciting objects and one can be very creative with one’s clothes. At home my partner cuts a plastic bottle and puts it in the cistern in the lavatory. The bottle collects water and every day you save about a litre and a half of water from flushing. Support ethical fashion labels: I’m a big fan of Christopher Raeburn, who makes clothes out of reclaimed military uniforms and recycled parachutes. I love Nina Dolcetti’s shoes, Junky Styling and all the other labels that we showcase in Estethica. It’s important to show to the public that ethical fashion can compete with mainstream brands

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