Style | Author: Olga Grineva


Upcycling, this word perhaps is not well-known to you; however, your mothers probably did this back in the Soviet times. Due to the shortage of clothing and fabric the wardrobes have been altered by updating the style and adding new details.  

Nowadays, we talk about upcycling not because of the shortage of goods, but rather due to the excess of them.  

There are more than 100 billion articles of clothing are created each year. As statistics shows, a man wears any clothing item around seven times before getting rid of it. According to the forecast, the world population growth will increase up to 10 billion people by 2050. This means that more and more goods will be required to produce. Therefore, the waste of production will steadily grow, if people do not take care in order to reduce it and optimize the processes. It is already clear that there will not be enough resources in such volumes.

We have to learn to make the most of our wardrobe and avoid impulse buying, thereby generating new supply and demand. Style is not about the number of new items in the closet. First of all, it is about your individuality and transmission of values. It is important to create a rational wardrobe exclusively for your personal needs.

Generation Z, now up to 25 years old and already a paying competitor to millennials, is distinguished by their more conscious attitude to the environment, which leads the upcycling to become more popular.

Upcycling is not just the recycling of old stuff, it is the process of transforming by-products or fabrics (there are 30-150 cm of each roll of fabric is left and difficult to sell), which are stored in the warehouses, into new products of a greater quality. This process is simpler and cheaper to use compared to melting down the synthetics in order to create new fibers or recovering cotton.

Covering stains with an embroidery or applique is also upcycling, in fact. It is not necessary to alter the old-style clothes, it is enough to prolong the life of your favorite clothes by small creative tricks, and to not throw them away after the failed wash.

Due to the pandemic of 2020, many brands have decided not to buy fabrics for new collections, instead they will use their own materials in stock. For example, Levi’s decided to alter the vintage jeans.

Upcycling also works with deadstocks (old collection clothes and materials that have not been sold out), if the designer has agreed such deliveries or buys materials at flea markets, vintage or second-hand stores. For instance, this is done by the designers like Preapoclo and Dog._rose.

Upcycling. OSSMA Magazine

The designer of the Olovo brand makes different items from army parachutes, padded jackets, and overcoats of the Soviet period.  

The output of all these is a unique product in its only kind, which attracts the customers much more compared to the same type mass market. Hence there are new models in a “patchwork” style (being upcycling to some extent).   

For example, the “Kofesumka” brand uses the coffee jute bags for creating their own bags. At the same time the Jeans.revision brand finds its denim fabric in the thrift stores in St. Petersburg.

Would you wear these outfits?