Upcycled clothing is the method of taking old, worn out, or damaged materials and transforming them into brand new pieces.
Also referred to as repurposed clothing, reused clothing, and recycled clothing, upcycled garments are becoming increasingly popular in the fashion industry.
The key difference between upcycled clothing and recycled clothing is that whereas upcycled clothing brands use whole pieces of existing garments to create something new.
On the other hand, in recycling, materials are broken down before being re-used.
The upcycled clothing movement is so strong that in 2020 LVMH has decided to award some of these brands.
Not surprisingly, the main theme of LVMH’s award was sustainability.
Most of the finalists have upcycled clothing at the heart of their designs.
Upcycling is a design strategy that combines creativity with environmental and ethical awareness.
Here is the full list of LVMH Prize finalists, and some of their amazing creations.
1. BETHANY WILLIAMS
The pioneering British designer, Bethany Williams explores social and environmental change within her work.
The brand’s innovative design explores the connection between environmental and social issues.
To create positive change, the London based designer has been working closely with victims of social exclusion such as female prisoners.
2. STEFAN COOKE
Another London-based Label, Stefan Cooke brand is directed by Cooke and his partner Jake Burt.
The combination of Cooke’s subversion of textile techniques and Burt’s skill for silhouette and design underpins the signature style of the pairs’ forthcoming looks.
Original techniques and collaboration are at the heart of the process for their work and continues to be a force of innovation.
The Paris-based designer, Spencer Phipps was born and raised in San Francisco.
His Label, ‘PHIPPS’, is founded on the principles of respect and curiosity for the natural world.
In his creations, Phipps explores the concept of sustainability and environmental responsibility in the realm of style.
4. KENNETH IZE
The Nigerian designer, Kenneth Izedonmwen emphasizes reinterpreting examples of Nigerian craft to create an original perspective on luxury production within textile and fashion.
The gender-neutral fashion label works with a community of local artisans across Nigeria.
The label is devoted to the long-established traditions of craft and local artisanship, merging a contemporary design aesthetic and new production skills with a specifically local handcraft practice.
Created by the Japanese fashion designer, Kunihiko Morinaga, ANREALAGE was born from a desire to create real clothes for everyday use while utilizing ultimate dimensions, original concepts, and unique elements.
The label’s name is a combination of the words ”REAL, UNREAL and AGE’’.
ANREALAGE collections utilize three key elements; “hand craftwork”, “conceptual shaping” and “technology” under the mantra of “God is in the details”.
6. THEBE MAGUGU
The young South African designer, Thebe Magugu operates within the field of women’s ready to wear.
“Together with our pillar values of quality, novelty and culture, we constantly seek new ways of presenting women with clothing that both complies with and enhances the everyday. Sleek, forward-looking design intersects with motifs from our continent’s storied past, providing smart, multifaceted clothes as valuable as their woman,” said Magugu.
The American designer, Emily Adams expresses a sentimentality for the past through the study of personal narratives and historical techniques.
The luxury menswear label is tailor-made in New York and New Delhi.
8. HED MAYNER
Hed Mayner is an Israeli designer, based in Tel Aviv.
His designs Focus on a substantial and stylish wardrobe of everyday separates.
The debut collection emphasizes comfort and self-expression, underlining the universal appeal of archetypal clothes.
Impeccably tailored and constructed, the designer’s clothes are as beautiful inside as they are on the outside, evoking a subtle sense of luxury that must be felt and experienced instead of being seen.
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these upcycled clothing brands is your favorite and why?
Are there any other great fashion brands using upcycling and recycling in their creation you’d like to add to this list?
Comments below, please!