Trash to Treasure: The Rise of Upcycled Fashion



Upcycled fashion - the art of transforming unwanted materials into stylish garments is on the rise in the realm of fashion.

This green revolution in the fashion industry is driven by changing consumer preferences, as shoppers increasingly favour unique, sustainable pieces over mass-produced items.


The pandemic created a surplus of €140-€160 billion worth of excess inventory from 2020 spring/summer collections which led designers to embracing upcycling (Vogue).

Previously, luxury brands would burn or discard unsold items to maintain their value, a wasteful practice now banned.

As customers become increasingly conscious, it’s more essential than ever that the industry addresses this backlog of garments in a sustainable way.

In 2020, consumers became more aware of climate change. A McKinsey survey showed that 67% of consumers are concerned about the environmental effects of their clothes. They also mentioned that they began to focus more on reusing and recycling items since the pandemic.


    Upcycled fashion is no longer a niche concept, it's the new trendsetter in the industry.

    • Designers are getting creative with discarded textiles, turning them into stunning and environmentally-friendly pieces.
    • Upcycled pieces are now gracing the most glamorous runways, sending a powerful message about sustainability.


    The journey towards mainstreaming upcycled fashion is far from over.

    • The industry must tackle issues like the large-scale production of upcycled clothing and the improvement of recycling technologies.
    • More investment in research and development to make upcycling a norm, not an exception.


    Harnessing the power of awareness is critical for the rise of upcycled fashion.

    • Celebrities, influencers, and passionate individuals play a crucial role in promoting sustainable fashion.
    • Educational campaigns and events are beneficial in spreading the word and encouraging consumers to make eco-friendly fashion choices.

    By integrating take-back programs into their operations, old clothes get a fashion-forward revamp.

    For example, our 'Refash Take Back Program' takes in your donated clothes and breathes new life into them by upcycling, contributing to this rising trend.

    It's an exciting journey, with every upcycled garment representing a step towards a more sustainable industry and a healthier planet.

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