Upcycle Clothes

Talking Trash – Reet Aus Upcycling Fashion Designs

I recently checked out what was going on with Pixelache, in Helsinki Finland, and read about an upcoming workshop by Reet Aus, based in Tallinn,Estonia.  Her work is inspired by how discarded garments can become wearable designs.

Aus works with production leftovers, and other upcycled materials and promotes the the idea that this model can be applied to mass production.

Her PhD thesis that she completed in 2012 focused on how to bring textile waste back to the production cycle in fashion design; how to understand and test various upcycling approaches and techniques; and how to put this method into practice for mass produced garments as well as individual pieces.

Her current work explores how to promote the wider use of upcycling in fashion design, both in Estonia and globally.  She recently did a workshop where she presented a design model to create products with minimal environmental impact.

Her clothing and designs are called Trash to Trend.  There has been a lot of action in the area of upcycling and making individual pieces and diy projects, but Aus is interested in how this model can be applied to larger systems and processes.

The model that she promotes is comprised of three elements:

1. Waste mapping and a database that gives designers an overview of where local textile waste is being produced, its type, and quantity.

2. Design techniques that offer designers techniques for upcycling textile waste in fashion design. Within the model there are a variety of techniques that provide for one-off pieces, small-scale manufacturing, and mass production.

3. A web-based platform that is an interactive framework integrating the various elements that makes direct communication possible between waste generators, designers, and clients. This creates a transparent product chain is created, waste data is accessible, techniques are shared, and upcycled products can be sold and marketed.

Her work, research, and writings can be seen on her website.  Is this the future of fashion?


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About the Author

KbaumlierKristen Baumlier’s work spans the full spectrum of interdisciplinary media, including performance, interactive installation, video and audio works.View all posts by Kbaumlier →