3 UPCYCLING DESIGNERS GIVING SUSTAINABLE FASHION NEW LIFE

3 UPCYCLING DESIGNERS GIVING SUSTAINABLE FASHION NEW LIFE

by Tarik Halil
4 min
Joshua Samuels ©

Sustainable and upcycled clothes are becoming more and more essential as the fashion industry’s effect on the environment are ongoingly (and rightly so) put under question. In response to this, there has been a recent boom in the practice of upcycling: the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new things, which are perceived to be of greater quality thanks to their artistic and positive value.

While many of the big brands are implementing this philosophy into their collections, independent designers are the ones innovating the space by incorporating upcycling into their DNA from the very start.

PETER SIMMONDS
Peter Simmonds is a designer making waves in the area of upcycled accessories. While his work ranges from screen-printed vintage garments to custom gloves and bags, his stand-out piece is a cut and sew trapper hat.

 

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The silhouette is unique and extremely cool, featuring a short peak and ear flaps that can be worn down strapped to the snug face covering, or worn pinned up like a pair of horns. The trapper hats are constructed from a variety of upcycled garments; the first iterations were made from bandanas and some of the most recent drops have been made from material taken from Stussy, Bape, and Arc’teryx garments. One version was even made from an upcycled Stone Island jacket, incorporating their signature thermo-sensitive fabric and iconic arm badge displayed proudly on the front.

 

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JOSHUA SAMUELS
Joshua Samuels is an emerging designer whose eponymous brand is deeply rooted in the philosophy of sustainability. Conscious of the impacts his industry has on the environment, Samuels has dedicated his practice to the process of upcycling, with 100% of his pieces being crafted from by-products, waste and unwanted materials. The result is a stylish patchwork catalogue of reworked knitwear, jeans, jackets and T-shirts, among anything else he can get his hands on.

 

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Roughly cut flowers scattered across Joshua Samuels pieces have become a powerful motif for the brand along with a skull and crossbones added to coats and hoodies. The recent patchwork knitwear collection is perhaps his most refined work so far, solidifying his position as one of the most exciting designers up and coming in the upcycling space.

 

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PETERSON STOOP
Founded by Jelske Peterson and Jarah Stoop, this artisanal studio is pioneering a sustainable approach to footwear production and design. Coming from a background in shoe repair and leather tanning, the pair were unhappy with the fact that sneakers are discarded or replaced rather than repaired. So, they developed Peterson Stoop as a way to tackle the issue of waste in the footwear industry.

Vintage sneakers are deconstructed and rebuilt with natural materials including cork and leather, producing brand new, hybrid silhouettes that ooze effortless sophistication. Classic Nike Silver Bullets, Off-White Blazers or plush blue Jordans are repaired with tan leather and high quality soles to give them new life. But the work doesn’t stop at resoling, Peterson Stoop are also experimental with their approach, using the old shoes as a material to craft their own patchwork silhouettes from.

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