H&M, London College of Fashion Upcycle Used Clothes Into Stunning New Looks

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Touting “circularity,” a concept that is increasingly driving the fashion conversation, the displays featured capsules such as “Dissimulation and Exposure,” which used patchwork and weaving techniques to turn denim and jersey into deconstructed garments that were at once “structured and delicate.”

“It is imperative that we see upcycling as a teachable technique as it is one of the very few ways to combat mass production,” de Castro said.

Another collection, dubbed “Playful Activists,” transformed scraps of children’s clothing into bright and colorful fabrications.

The students behind “Something New”, applying a “zero waste” philosophy, pieced together bits of castoff garments to create “new” fabric from which to work from.

There was also the “3패션人,” a multicultural collaboration that drew inspiration from the minimal-waste approach of traditional Japanese packaging.

“Im-perfecting Fashion” took a wabi-sabi tack. Instead of disguising the used origin of its materials, the team chose to preserve select elements of the original garments to better engage the wearer about the designs’ provenance and process.

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“It is imperative that we see upcycling as a teachable technique as it is one of the very few ways to combat mass production, while we wait for recycling technologies to become advanced enough to offer real and effective closed loop solutions,” de Castro said in a statement. “As always, the LCF students came armed with talent, dedication, and ingenuity.”

H&M’s Midby said that clothes recycling is a vital part of the company’s plan to “close the loop” on textiles.

“As leaders in sustainability, it is hugely important for us to continue working to promote the importance of garment recycling to our customers,” she said. “Garment recycling is the first step towards achieving our goal of 100 percent circularity.”

+ H&M

+ Centre for Sustainable Fashion

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