Gender-free, Season-free and Trend-free fashion
tHERAPY Recycle & Exorcise is an upcycling fashion brand based in Berlin and South America founded by two sisters - Paula and Mariángeles Aguirre. This radical sustainable fashion brand has a playful and positive approach to sustainability and upcycling which they bring to life by re-working vintage and second hand garments into designs that are gender fluid, body positive and celebrate individuality. The brand proposes a social model of collaboration, cooperation and circularity, in balance with the planet and the people.
Mariángeles founded Therapy in 2012 in order to question sustainable fashion trends and the way clothes were being produced and consumed. The brand was one of the early adopters of the technique of upcycling in Berlin and their playful approach to sustainability and upcycling has paved the way for experimental and audacious designs within sustainable fashion.
Mariángeles Aguirre studied Journalism, Photography and Communication and Paula Aguirre studied Advertising and Fashion Design. Paula is based in Argentina and Mariángeles in Berlin since 2004. Mariángeles is also one of the co-founders of Green Fashion Tours Berlin and is a part of future fashion forward e.V. - an association that works for a more transparent, social and fair fashion industry. She also works with Fashion Revolution Germany. Paula studied Fashion Design and Advertising and lives between Argentina and Berlin. She joined the brand at the beginning of 2013 and is also the Country Coordinator for Fashion Revolution Argentina.
Therapy was the sisters way to revive their creative side. To interact, to do something inspiring for others, as others has inspired them in the past -To create a social model of collaboration, cooperation and circularity, in balance with the planet and the people.
(Mariángeles Aguirre & Paula Aguirre)
Their aim is to change the perspective that fashion is something superficial and needs to exclusive. They feel that fashion is actually the most inclusive form of art, because it requires the active participation of both the maker and the person who is going to wear it. They not only question the way fashion is produced and consumed, but are also breaking the barriers of heteronormativity and patriarchy.
They wish to inspire everyone to become their own designer by mending, adding something, cutting something off, adapting, and reusing the things that we have in our own wardrobe.
Therapy’s greatest inspiration and first contact with upcycling was their grandmother and mother, who passed it on to them. Their grandmother was a dressmaker and an upcycler. In fact, all grandmothers were upcyclers because they reused things, repaired them or transformed them partially or totally into something new. Upcycling is a new word, but not a new concept. Formerly when the industry did not mass produce and clothes and other things were made by hand they were much more expensive. Because of that, almost all kinds of products were reused again and again until they were no longer useful, either with their original function or giving them new functions.
"REUSING things that have already been made and used, is the most integral way of being sustainable."
They source vintage pieces of clothing, discarded textiles and accessories of good quality, from earlier decades, as well as other material discards to create new designs that blend sustainability with body positivity and gender redefinition. What others might consider waste, they consider it a treasure that can be up-cycled, upgraded, and brought to new life. They rework, reinvent and customise the pieces according to their personal style and preferences, which has become the brand’s style. They don’t use fast fashion as a raw material and only source post consumer clothing that has been made with good quality fabric to ensure the quality and life of the upcycled garment.
The aesthetic of the brand can be called a mixture of underground urban subcultures and unconventional lifestyles. Their designs avoid aesthetic limitations such as "trends" and blur the line between accessories and clothing pieces. They focus on the (multi)functionality of a piece, ensuring that the pieces can be worn in multiple ways so that they can last longer.
(A sports jacket upcycled into crop jacket)
(An XXL sports jacket upcycled into a top and skirt set)
Therapy wants to raise awareness about the power of clothing and D.I.Y. fashion to communicate identity and authenticity against the uniformity and dictatorship of brands, trends, mass production and consumption systems.
They want to inspire, encourage and help everyone to develop their creative capacity and be more critical about where things come from, who makes them and in which conditions.
The brand collects post consumer garments. To send garments to them, you can email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the pictures and description of the products you want to donate for upcycling. They will then send them further instructions.
Check their website here.
Find them on Instagram.
Photo Credit: Therapy Recycle & Exorcise