Unique Upcycling Collaborations

Upcycling is a growing, trendsetting, and responsible movement around the world. It serves as a platform for creative minds, bringing together visionary designers and diverse brands from various locations to collaborate on giving new life to discarded materials. These partnerships help create new and exciting items in the realm of upcycling and encourage creative thinking.

These efforts show strong focus on caring for the environment, using materials wisely, and promoting a cycle where old items are turned into something new. Below are some interesting upcycling collaborations that highlight the transformation of unwanted items into treasures.


Stella McCartney and Shie Lyu are two fashion designers who participated in a creative-swap project initiated by Vogue magazine this year. In this sustainability-driven project, both the designers received a mystery box containing one of their partner's fashion pieces. Their challenge was to transform these items using only the materials from the archival pieces. The outcome was a bold and innovative reinterpretation of each other's work, showcasing their distinctive visions and skills.

(Image Credit: Vogue - Stella McCartney x Shie Lyu)
Stella McCartney, a British designer renowned for her commitment to sustainable and cruelty-free fashion, received a package from Shie Lyu's studio featuring a floral-quilted jacket and skirt set, a printed top, black tights, and pearl-and-steel chokers. She combined Lyu's designs with upcycled denim patches from her own archive to craft a reversible, patchwork trench coat.
(Image 1- Stella McCartney's Creation, Image 2 - Shie Lyu's Creation)
Shie Lyu, a Chinese designer dedicated to pushing the boundaries of craftsmanship, received a package from Stella McCartney's studio that included a gray wool suit and a brass chain top. She inverted the suit and skillfully deconstructed it, transforming it into a corset and skirt embellished with a polyester train. Besides that, she repurposed the chains from the top to highlight and outline the newly designed ensemble.


Founded in 2018 by former Eidos designer Antonio Ciongoli, 18 East is a New York-based menswear label celebrated for its unique patterns and fabrics that are inspired by various cultures worldwide. On the other side, Atelier & Repairs is a Los Angeles-based brand that specialises in repairing, upcycling, and reimagining vintage apparel.


(Image credit: Eighteen East x Atelier Repairs)

The two brands teamed up in 2019 for 18 East's third release, crafting a unique pair of jeans that served as a sartorial blend of the aesthetics of both labels. Constructed from vintage Levi's 501s, the jeans underwent a transformation at the hands of Atelier & Repairs—receiving patches, embroidery, and dyeing treatments. The resulting creation was a one-of-a-kind denim piece that beautifully fused the distinct visual languages of both 18 East and Atelier & Repairs.


The North Face, a leading outdoor clothing brand, joined forces with RÆBURN, a London-based regenerative design studio committed to responsible production. The collaboration aimed to breathe new life into old tents by repurposing them into a fresh line of accessories. Provided by The North Face, these tents were creatively transformed by RÆBURN designers into a range of bags.

(Image Credit: The North Face x RÆBURN)

The unique collection includes a tote bag, a drawstring bag, and the Rae Bag, all bearing RÆBURN's hallmark "REMADE, REDUCED, RECYCLED, RÆBURN" tagline. This partnership represents The North Face's sustainable collaboration and aligns with both brands' dedication to minimising waste without sacrificing quality.


Based on the West Coast of Canada, ANIÁN is a circular fashion company dedicated to rejuvenating salvaged natural textiles. Similarly committed to sustainable practices, Salt Legacy is an Island-based firm that specialises in repurposing used sailcloth into custom bags and backpacks. Both companies share a vision for advancing the circular economy in Canada.

(Image credit: ANIÁN x Salt Legacy)

Joining forces, ANIÁN and Salt Legacy crafted tote bags using upcycled sailcloth from Salt Legacy, complemented by an inner liner made from wool offcuts sourced from ANIÁN's own production. The collaboration merges the expertise and materials of both brands, resulting in a product that symbolises their mutual commitment to sustainability and a circular economy. 

Upcycling collaborations emphasise that upcycling is a necessity for sustainable living. These partnerships spotlight the remarkable creativity and boundless potential unlocked when designers, brands, and individuals unite for the shared mission of reducing waste.

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