10 Best Upcycled Clothing Brands & Websites In 2022 (For Recycled Clothes)

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Top Upcycling Clothing Fashion Brands & Online Boutiques

From Designer To Vintage & Handmade Upcycled Clothes

Shopping and wearing upcycled clothing brands is a great way to improve your style and CO2 footprint in the current global fashion context.

According to the BBC, over 92 million tons of textiles are wasted every year as massive amounts of clothes end up in landfills, polluting the planet in the process.

Despite the stigma attached to the word ‘upcycled,’ upcycled clothes are re-made garments by reusing and repurposing materials from old, worn out, and damaged clothes.

These materials are then transformed by brands working with upcycled clothing into new garments you can buy at discounted prices from upcycled clothing wholesale sites.

Also referred to as repurposed clothing, reused clothing, and recycled garments, upcycled clothing is an innovative and affordable option in the contemporary fashion landscape.




Speaking of upcycling, most people confuse the products of upcycled clothing brands with upcycled clothing brands.

However, there is a difference between the two:

  • Recycling clothing labels break down old garments into materials that can be reused to create brand new apparel.
  • Upcycled clothing brands use the whole discarded garment to fix, improve, and give the ‘same garment’ a new life.

There are many benefits to purchasing and wearing clothes from upcycled clothing brands.

Less water usage and landfill waste, fewer chemicals and carbon emissions, and the uniqueness of each style as a bonus!

Driven by a deep sustainability and style uniqueness creed, these are the 10 best upcycled clothing brands, designers, stores, and websites in 2022.


1/10
AMOUR VERT

Best Women’s Upcycled Clothing
from $35

AMOUR VERT upcycled clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“French for ‘green love,’ Amour Vert is not just another upcycled clothing brand but an entire online marketplace for fair trade secondhand garments, sustainable clothes, and upcycled fashion.”

Shop Now

Amour Vert stocks discounted clothes made from natural fibers such as hemp, ethical wool, certified organic cotton, and other sustainable materials.

Ninety-seven percent of Amour Vert’s pieces are made in small batch quantities within a few miles of the brand’s San Francisco office.

While some of their sustainable clothing is a little more on the pricey side (keep an eye on their special offers and sales), they do have a great collection of organic cotton tees that are more affordable.





2/10
BEYOND RETRO

Best Affordable Upcycled Clothing
from $7

BEYOND RETRO Upcycled Clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“Whether you are looking for a vintage Levi 501s, a vintage coat for a festival, or a leopard-print jacket to match your vintage gender-free shoes, Brick Lane’s endless selection of rare clothing and accessories has your back.”

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Nowadays, a history-making store for vintage clothing, Beyond Retro has become a touristic spot of East London.

Launched in an old and disused dairy factory in East London, Beyond Retro has grown to have shops in Soho, Brick Lane, Dalston, Brighton, and abroad, in Sweden.

With an enchanting and unexpected in-shop experience, Beyond Retro’s online offerings are just as dreamy.

Also called a Brick Lane institution, this vintage clothing store stocks both, own fashion label and genuine vintage fashion from Adidas, Converse, Dr. Martens, and many, many more big fashion names.


3/10
URBAN OUTFITTERS

Best Upcycled Vintage Clothing
from $9.99

URBAN OUTFITTERS Upcycled Vintage clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“With a dedicated team of people that recovers, recycles, and revamps the brands’ headstock and unused or discarded outfits, Urban Outfitters has everything, from sports bras to casual wear and specialized cold winter outfits.”

Shop Now

Like most big-name high street brands, Urban Outfitters also has a relatively poor track record regarding past manufacturing practices.

To deal with the brand’s fast fashion facet, the label has introduced its very own upcycled program comprised of a dedicated team called Urban Renewal.

The team sorts through deadstock and surplus materials that generally end up in landfills and turn them into recycled clothing materials.

In return, Urban Outfitters pieces are created in limited numbers, so if you’re looking for that original feel at a price that won’t break the bank, check out the Urban Renewal range by Urban Outfitters.





4/10
Wolf & Badger 

Best Upcycled Clothing Online Boutique
from $25

Wolf & Badger Best Upcycled Clothing Online Boutique

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“Cut in a slim, double-breasted silhouette, Julia Allert’s vegan leather trenches and raincoats have tie-up belts to show off the waist and classic wide lapel collars that match to perfection with turtle necks.”

Shop Now

Whether it’s over a pair of sweatpants or a knit dress, these Matrix-inspired vegan leather trenches and coats will have you look put together, even if just out of bed.

Leather trenches are very VOU right now, worn by worldwide celebs anywhere, anytime, from red carpet events to neighborhood walks and streetwear parades.


5/10
Farm Rio

Best Upcycled Boho Clothing
from $45

Farm Rio Best Boho Upcycled Clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“A tremendous clothing brand hailing right from the heart of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, known for upcycled garments of vintage-inspired boho-chic aesthetics, vintage denim, and similar bohemian clothing in original stitching.”

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Launched by a group of creatives from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (that believe in the existence of happiness), Farm Rio is an apparel brand that Anthropologie carries on its official website.

More than a recycled clothing brand, Farm Rio has been a leader of sustainable practices, fostering cultural movements since 1997.

The brand takes vintage clothing and infuses them with formal, feminine aesthetic outfits.

The brand supports the local culture, heritage, craftsmanship and fights to keep them alive.

For each piece sold via the official website, the company plants a tree in the Amazon Rainforest.





6/10
RE/DONE

Best Upcycled Denim Clothing
from $75

RE/DONE Upcycled Denim Clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“Rebuilding vintage jeans is an art, and each RE/DONE denim piece is a world of its own. Stylish, unique, handmade, these are the best upcycled denim pieces you can find online right now.”

Shop Now

With its upcycled jeans, RE/DONE will revive your childhood memories, to the days when your mother had to repurpose the jeans of your older brother to fit you.

In those days, a necessity, upcycled denim was a stylish trend fighting against fast fashion as more people prioritized quality over quantity.

Specialists in clothing items from eco-friendly fabrics and organic materials, the label uses circular fashion to create superb clothing for women, often confused with Eileen Fisher and Mara Hoffman.


7/10
COLLINA STRADA

Best Upcycled Designer Clothing
from $50

COLLINA STRADA Upcycled Designer Clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“Imbued with a fearlessly fluid attitude and unique stylistic details, Collina Strada’s signature upcycled pieces from deadstock materials and fashion waste are affordable, stylish, able to transcend fashion trends.”

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Collina Strada is an upcycled clothing label from New York City that aims to embody humor and youth while pursuing sustainable, transparent manufacturing for a cleaner, safer future.

Loud and expressive on the outside, the brand has a rare ability to look inward, season after season, with a goal that remains the same: to encourage self-reflection and kindness through upcycled clothing.

Above all, Collina Strada is leading the inclusive fashion movement, including androgynous clothing, and gender-neutral fashion.

The label is loved and supported by an extensive cast of artists, LGBTQ+ activists, musicians, and creatives of all ages.





8/10
RAVE REVIEW

Best Upcycled Wool Clothing
from $228

Rave Review upcycled wool clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“Get ready to be amazed by Rave Review’s wide range of floral corsets, tailored plaid coats, and posh dresses in the brand’s infamous mix of prints and fabrics that have made this label a symbol of modern fashion.”

Shop Now

One criticism towards upcycled clothing brands from young fashion lovers is clothes that look old, like just picked from grandmother’s closet.

A semifinalist of LVMH Prize, Rave Review is loved by young fashion buyers, as the label does more than just introduce them to a more accountable future.

Yes, the brand’s initiatives speak to a growing awareness across the fashion and luxury sector while reflecting the values of environmentally conscious fashion.

Above all of that, Rave Review’s upcycled clothes are what you’d call modern, mindful, thoughtful luxury fashion.


9/10
COLVILLE

Best Handmade Upcycled Clothing
from $94

Colville handmade upcycled clothing brand

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“Empowered by re-purposing and re-conditioning clothes and accessories, the label creates unique artisanal pieces while supporting social projects for women, from Dakar to Columbia, back to Morocco.”

Shop Now

Established in 2018 by the ex-design director of Marni and the ex-fashion director of British Vogue, Colville’s collections are romantic, adventurous, bold, and uplifting.

Driven by an innovative and experienced team, Colville’s creation from recycled fabric expresses contemporary women’s feelings and values.

In some ways, Colville is the antithesis of fast fashion: the brand’s passion lies in designing clothes that have individuality and longevity that appeal to the wearer’s eye, imagination, conscience, and heart.





10/10
ETSY

Best Upcycled Plus Size Clothing
from $24

Etsy upcycled plus size clothing

EDITOR’S NOTE:

“Etsy is a global marketplace for unique and creative upcycled clothing, accessories, and similar goods; from upcycled clothing and accessories to rare aesthetics and decor pieces for your unique style and wardrobe, Etsy has them all.”

Shop Now

Etsy is a global online store for designers and shoppers creating and selling sustainable fashion pieces from surplus fabric, vintage fabrics, textile waste, recycled materials, and deadstock fabric.

A universe of handmade clothing, accessories, and collections that can’t be found anywhere else, Etsy is the home of ethical fashion and the marketplace to check when you want something unique.

Moreover, Etsy is one of the best online stores right now and heaven for creators and individuals seeking to sell their own upcycled clothing pieces.





Upcycled Clothing FAQs

What Is Upcycling In Clothes?

In the realm of clothing and fashion, the word ‘upcycling’ describes a method of taking old, worn out, or damaged clothes (in some cases even antique textiles) and repurposing them into brand new garments.

The method was introduced by outdoor clothing, initially as lining or fabric scraps for internal padding.

The method was quickly adopted by the garment industry to ensure the preservation of natural materials and raw material reserves.

The process turns secondhand fabrics and discarded pieces of clothing into stylish, sustainable products that require less water usage, fewer chemicals, and generate far fewer carbon emissions.

Upcycled clothing exists in stark contrast to fast-fashion one-season pieces that end up in land waste.

Is Upcycling Clothing Sustainable?

Similar to recycled apparel, upcycled clothing is sustainable and eco-friendly.

Upcycling clothing is sustainable by reducing raw material and water consumption, reducing textile waste, and giving garments a new life.

What Brands Use Upcycling?

Many major clothing brands use upcycling as a manufacturing method.

However, some of the most popular upcycled clothing brands in the clothing industry right now are:

  • Zero Waste Daniel
  • Fanfare
  • Picture Organic Clothing
  • Preloved
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Outerknown
  • Re/Done
  • Beyond Retro
  • Alexandra Hartmann
  • Christopher Raeburn

Is Selling Upcycled Clothing Legal?

Yes and no, and here’s where the problem arises from:

When you upcycle clothes, you alter the manufacturer’s warranty or product quality without the owner’s approval.

Moreover, you retain the branding, logos, and the brand’s name in the upcycling process.

Now, if you upcycled for personal use, that’s fine.

However, if you upcycle to resell, you’ll have to get the manufacturer’s permission.

The law is still grey in this area, as I know people selling upcycled garments on eBay, Etsy, and similar online clothing stores as “repaired clothes,” without any problems.

What Other Clothing Companies Are Upcycling Or Recycling?

More recently marketed as re-style-cling, these garments combine upcycled and recycled fashion.

The ideal approach in creating ethical clothing – a method employed even by prominent luxury fashion brands – is to create beautiful pieces from upcycled cotton and sustainable apparel from carbon neutral textiles.

Below are some of the best clothing brands that have mastered re-style-cling in 2022:

  • Outerknown
  • Arielle
  • Broken Ghost Clothing
  • Green Market Vintage
  • RE/DONE
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Synergy Organic Clothing
  • Elvis & Kresse
  • Bethany Williams




Conclusion

It’s not easy to be an environmental activist who loves the latest fashion trends.

First, you all know that ‘fast fashion‘ is destructive to the planet by creating cheap apparel from energy-intensive materials, by using toxic bleaches and dyes, and discarding tones of unused garments every day, clogging the planet with landfills.

Fortunately, the number of upcycled clothing brands rejecting fast fashion in favor of ‘slow fashion‘ and sustainable clothing is rising fast.

Also known as eco-friendly clothing brands, these labels create new clothes from upcycled organic wool and cotton from broken garments, polyester from plastic bottles and fishing nets, and cellulose from discarded trees.

In making new clothes, recycling apparel brands use less-toxic dyes less water and reduce the overall carbon footprint.

Using upcycled materials is one of the most powerful ways to stay sustainable and trendy, especially in a fashion industry thirsty for change.

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Now it’s your turn…

Which one of these upcycled clothing brands and online stores is your favorite and why?

Are there any other upcycled clothing brands you’ve tried and want to add to this list?

Comments below, please!


Ana Alves
Ana Alves
Ana Alves is a fashion and beauty writer with a keen interest in sustainability and veganism. Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil but living in London, UK, Ana has been writing about sustainable and vegan fashion for over 10 years. Actively curating for Saatchi, Ana's engaging prices have been presented in Forbes, Wired, Vanity Fair, The London Economic, Digital Trends, and The VOU.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I love upcycled clothes! They’re soooo unique! I also love upcycling my old garments. It’s pretty easy and fun, good for your pocket and the environment!
    One example of upcycling clothing DIY is upcycling t-shirts. You can easily cover small holes or a pilly texture with hand embroidery, tie-dye, screen printing, and more. This works with jeans, pants, skirts, and so on!

  2. I love how upcycling has turned into a catchy trend on Insta and TikTok! We need more trends like this and less stupid trends like the corn cob challenge 😐 Plus it’s super fun to do it yourself at home if you have time!

  3. This is a really cool list!
    My personal favorite is Re/Done.
    Check out 3WLABEL. The company partners with local manufacturers and uses high quality dead stock to produce limited-edition garments, which are sold online and on-demand. You can follow 3WLABEL on Instagram @3wlabel
    Website https://www.3wlabel.com
    I am one of the co-founders 🙂

  4. Hi, I would love to learn how we could work together! If you’re interested, I have potential partnership ideas on sustainable apparel and circular fashion around RE.STATEMENT (https://shoprestatement.com), our online marketplace dedicated to unique, upcycled clothing that puts your voice in the room before you say a single word. What’s the best way to connect?

  5. I’m looking for work opportunities as a pattern-maker in these types of fashion brands and companies that are working with recycled clothing to create upcycled garments and fashion. Please feel free to comment below or to contact me directly for a CV or more info.

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