Trash to Trend Debuts First Mass-Produced Upcycled-Clothing Collection

Reet Aus, Trash to Trend, Markus Vihma, upcycled fashion, upcycled clothing, recycled clothing, recycled fashion, textile waste, zero waste, Bangladesh, Beximco, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Estonia

CRITICAL MASS

Years of research led Aus to create the “Upcycled Collection,” a line of mens- and womenswear that defies convention by being the first to be mass-produced from production leftovers. Made in collaboration with Beximco, one of the largest textile and clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh, the collection requires 70 percent less water and 64 percent less energy than its conventional counterparts. It also creates at least 40 percent less overall production waste, according to Aus.

The collection requires 70 percent less water and 64 percent less energy than its conventional counterparts.

Trash to Trend grew out of Aus’s doctoral studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts, where she explored various techniques of using textile waste to decrease the fashion industry’s environmental impact. In her thesis, Aus proposed a “Trash to Trend” model that allowed designers to create fashion from pre- and post-consumer textiles in a way that minimizes a garment’s impact while facilitating serial production.

Reet Aus, Trash to Trend, Markus Vihma, upcycled fashion, upcycled clothing, recycled clothing, recycled fashion, textile waste, zero waste, Bangladesh, Beximco, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Estonia

LEVELING UP

Targeted at independent designers who wish to apply green-design techniques, as well as brands who want a sustainable solution to their textile-waste problem, Aus’s model includes a “waste-mapping” database that provides a real-time overview of what, where, and how much textile waste is being produced in a specific region. Another of Aus’s suggestions is a Web-based interactive framework that allows for direct communication between waste generators, designers, and clients. “This way, a transparent product chain is created, waste data is accessible, techniques are shared, and upcycled products can be sold and marketed,” she says.

Aus’s model includes a “waste-mapping” database that provides a real-time overview of how much textile waste is being produced in a specific region.

Aus chose Bangladesh as the site of her study—and the genesis of her collection—for good reason. “[Bangladesh has the] biggest textile problem,” she tells Ecouterre. “They have no waste-management—most of their waste is sent to China, dumped in a landfill, or burned. Of 8,000 factories only five have water-treatment.” To create her pieces, Aus worked with Beximco, which produces 56 million garments for the likes of Calvin Klein, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, and Zara each year, to repurpose the waste of some of its more prodigious customers.

But waste isn’t all Aus is concerned with. She’s also working on a documentary about working conditions at the factories she’s visited and the often toxic chemicals employed to make our clothes.

+ Trash to Trend

+ Reet Aus

[Via Nordic Initiative, Clean and Ethical]

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3 Responses to “Trash to Trend Debuts First Mass-Produced Upcycled-Clothing Collection”

  1. deborah says:

    ok so like recycle here in USA where it just led to further packaging aka more single serve containers and the like…this looks like an enable, justify thing when we need to use less. Fashion is over especially as corporations control style, ideas, designs..it like so many other platforms dies when replicated to such a massive scale. This is maintaining the human species arrogance that created the problems we are now facing. People we need the planet and variety and light, life love not more stuff.

  2. Crispinaffrench says:

    What a wonderful collection of recycled clothing! Nice to see Trash to Trend hitting the mainstream and getting press. Sorry that production is situated in the developing world taking advantage of lesser wages supporting our excessive consumption habits here in the land of the fat wasteful folks.
    For the record, my company, Crispina manufactured clothing from 100% post consumer recycled clothing from 1987-2003. We ran US production, mostly done by hand, and supplied 350+ stores located in the US, Cananda, Australia, Europe, and Japan. Trash to Trend is onto something! Cool and well marketed, green but certainly not first to the world of Mass-Produced Upcycled Clothing.

    Crispina ffrench

  3. dendra says:

    I wonder if anyone has actually validated the case? I reckon the 70% water and 64% energy save come from deeming the materials used for production “a zero energy” material… which it actually isn’t. i think it appears rather green-washed, no? produced in Bangladesh at factories with below-normal working conditions, using the local left-overs there, and then shipped to the western world, what is actually the one thing that really makes this collection sustainable? the design?difficult for me to swallow this.

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