Turning faulty products into pieces of art is not easy, but we did it. It’s all thanks to the five artists who have managed to give new life to our garments through upcycling. Many events are now taking place online, but have you ever joined a virtual charity event created to promote sustainability through an interactive exhibition? Welcome to Upcycle With Purpose.
THE RECYCLING OF TEXTILE WASTE
In 2018, 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills, according to data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, making up 5.8 percent of the total municipal solid waste (MSW) generation that year. But landfill is not the only destination for our old clothes.
However, once the clothes have left our wardrobe, they can have a second life thanks to:
- Non-profit associations: used clothing (not waste) must be given to the association in charge of distribution to the needy.
- Second-hand market: the garments are sorted and sanitised so that they can be placed on the second-hand market or processed into industrial pieces, yarn or padding.
The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries. Buying less, choosing garments made with eco-friendly materials or recycled resources is certainly a more sustainable choice than indifference. This is why many companies have decided to move in this direction, encouraging their customers to behave in a greener way. Companies such as H&M and Intimissimi have in fact started to offer discount vouchers to those who bring their used clothes back to the shop, promoting their collections made with eco-sustainable materials. An example that we hope many other companies will soon follow.
LET’S TALK ABOUT UPCYCLING
Surely everyone knows what “recycling” means, but what if we asked you how it differs from “upcycling”? If with recycling we bring an object back to its original properties, with upcycling we enhance it by making it more interesting.
In comparison, the benefits of upcycling are far greater than those of recycling. Our planet is the main beneficiary.
Here are just a few:
- Energy savings. The process of recycling discarded clothing often requires large amounts of energy. Despite using less energy to make the product from scratch, energy consumption is still considerable. But in the case of upcycling, the main driver is often just our own creativity.
- Reducing the cost of producing new objects. Producing your own products or buying products made from waste materials reduces the environmental and monetary costs of raw materials.
“UPCYCLE WITH PURPOSE”
Hosted in the exclusive location Suites & Atelier Lake Como, we present Upcycle With Purpose, our innovative interactive showroom. Here you will “move digitally” through the location, view the pieces of art and discover the creative processes used to create the garments.
CHARITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Upcycle With Purpose aims to remind people that many social and environmental problems do not stop existing with the pandemic. We set up a virtual showroom, in fact, because social initiatives can’t be stopped.
From the auction of these unique pieces, and their digital versions registered in NFT blockchain, the proceeds will be donated to the Diana ODV association. With the aim of offering support to women and children in social, economic and personal difficulties, this association has proved to be the perfect partner. Together we are spreading a clear message: art and fashion as a form of environmental support.
THE SECOND LIFE OF GARMENTS: THE ARTISTS’ TOUCH
As well as being a charity event, Upcycle With Purpose also aims to highlight the power of upcycling. By adding their own signature, creatives, writers, painters and calligraphers turned R3UNITE T-shirts and sweatshirts destined to become waste into pieces of art. It is incredible to think how their creativity has given these garments a second life.
This was made possible by five artists who took part in the initiative free of charge. The first works in the exhibition are bound together by a thread. Andreavy, in fact, applied eco-leather shapes to give a sense of movement using a very thick thread. But while there is a deliberately rudimentary effect of Andreavy’s work, there is also a touch of femininity thanks to Manuela Carnini‘s roses. It is in fact a fine ECONYL, 100% nylon thread, that allowed her to apply the flowers that characterise her art on our garments. As well as being a surgeon and an artist, Manuela Carnini ‘cares’ for her garments just as she does for her patients every day.
The thread breaks here. The artists do not add any more material but use the garments as if they were canvases to represent their art. Zoom24‘s street artist soul clearly emerges from his work. The words and colours that Zoom 24 uses on one of our t-shirts show off, in fact, a type of art rarely reproduced on a garment. Gabriele Bass has also played with words but he has tried to turn one of our T-shirts into a real manifesto. Gabriele used three logos to encapsulate our philosophy: Refund the world, Rethink fashion and Reshape the future. Finally, Hila proposed a quieter manifesto of denunciation. A clean, impactful line capable of generating visual noise.
If you’re curious to see what creative recycling can do, sit back and take part in Upcycle With Purpose.
Here are some of the newspapers that talked about our event: