Upcycling is the new kid on the eco-friendly block, and we at Rust and Fray are proud to be one of the pioneer upcycling brands. We need to fight against climate change on every front possible, and upcycling initiatives are rapidly becoming mainstream. Let's look at some way upcycling brands and initiatives can rewrite the fashion industry.
Upcycling can Change the Nature of Design
The concept of Upcycling can change the way make clothes altogether. Not only does Upcycling directly challenge the disposability culture of fast fashion, but a demand for upcycled products also incentivises redesigning products to help enable upcycling. With more and more people taking out the sewing needles and the scissors, more and more brands will get the hint and start designing their products with repair and upcycling in mind [tweet that quote]. All products wear down over times, but how a product wears down on average is a science that brands are keen to use. Currently the trend is planned obsolescence to maximize the number of sales, but with the backlash against that and disposability in general growing, there is an opportunity to and a market for designing products with to maximize upcycling. This is not a new phenomena. During the great depression, because people weren’t buying new dresses, families started making clothing out of flour sacks. Flour companies noticed this and started printing floral patterns and other such pretty designs onto the sacks so that families buying flour would pick the ones best suited to be upcycled. In this day and age the crisis is environmental, but the mentality and potential are the same.
Upcycling Brands can and are filling in the gaps of the Fashion Industry
Global Warming and the global waste crisis are problems that need long term solutions. But we also can’t afford to sit around and wait for those long term plans to develop; we simply don’t have the time. Upcycling brands can help then by acting as an immediate stop gap for the issues surrounding the global fashion industry. While it takes giant multinational corporations years to switch over from one production model to a new one, brands focused on upcycling can swoop in and help make their factories go zero-waste in the meantime. This way the fashion world can create less waste immediately as they work towards their long-term sustainable goals.
Upcycling can Bring Out Your Uniqueness on a Whole New Level
Finally, upcycling brands like Rust and Fray and upcycling in general can bring out your unique personality on a whole new level. Fast fashion is mass produced ready-to-wear products that bring on a sameness, like with all mass production. These brands then keep the clothing interesting by putting out so many lines that you're constantly looking for new, which is a main reason why we have so much waste. But upcycling creates the opportunity to bring out the new in a whole new level by its very nature. In brands like Rust and Fray that are working directly with factory excess, each product they make will be limited run, so everything they make is few-of-a-kind. Upcycling old clothing on your own makes the only limit your imagination, as everything will be uniquely you. Combine these two and your have a way to make your fashion even more an extension of you beyond style.