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Upcycling: turning textile waste into sustainable fashion

In a recent live chat, a panel of sustainable fashion experts joined us to explore how upcycling is infiltrating the industry

"[It] doesn't matter if it is clothes or furniture or food. If we know the story behind it, the time it takes to make it, to produce the materials, we will value it much more. Everybody that has ever created something ... knows what I am talking about. It is about transparency.

How do we make it easier for consumers to choose upcycled clothes, or will it always be a niche market?

Just as we appreciate designers who source their wool from UK mills, weave on hand looms in Scotland and produce in London, the materials used in upcycled fashion have an interesting story. This is where the desirability of upcycled fashion lies, explains Robinson. In contrast, Orsola de Castro, co-founder and co-curator of Estethica describes fast fashion and mass produced luxury as "empty vehicles."

However, a story alone isn't enough - few will buy a garment simply because it's upcycled. They key factor is design says Luise Barsch, co-founder of the Berlin based label aluc: "If the design is good, people will go for it."