Upcycling has been the foremost significant theme in SS21, with Balenciaga (see ‘shoelace fur’ shaggy coat), Marni (where patchwork outerwear was made up of existing clothing) and Coach (note the reworked 1970s bags) both investigating how fabrics are often reused. Miu Miu, meanwhile, revealed in October that it’s launching a replacement Upcycled collection. An exclusive capsule of 80 one-off dresses, remodelled from antique items carefully purchased from vintage shops.
Though young designers such as Priya Ahluwalia, Bethany Williams and Emily Bode have renamed proven textiles, Getting big luxury brands taking the lead may be a significant change in the market. “The first time we used deadstock and spoke about it was in 2017.,” says Gabriela Hearst, whose SS21 collection comprised 60 per cent upcycled pieces, to Vogue via Zoom. But the constraints implemented by the pandemic have led manufacturers to show to products that they have already got handy within the studio rather than exporting to new fabrics. JW Anderson has recently launched a replacement range of capsules, Made in Britain, composed of six items made entirely of surplus materials and trims from previous seasons. Made in Britain came from this concept during the lockdown to make fashion from what we already had and work locally,” says artistic director Jonathan Anderson, who has also upcycled items for the Loewe’s Eye/Loewe/Nature line. Devastating Effect of Surplus Inventory
It’s no wonder that more designers are already promoting upcycling, as long as the pandemic has culminated during a €140 billion to €160 billion in surplus inventory from the SS20 collections—more than twice the norm. Within the past, unsold products may are burnt or thrown away by luxury brands to take care of their worth, as a part of a disturbing trend that has now been outlawed in France, when consumers grow more mindful of unnecessary behaviour. It is more important than ever for the industry to handle this backlog of clothing sustainably. Duran Link, who has reassembled deadstock clothes from companies like Gucci, Prada and Off-White into new high-end items, has seen a rise in enquiries from significant retailers and makes looking to partner with him since the pandemic began. “There’s been tons of interest,” says the Dutch designer on a call from Amsterdam.
Naturally, eco-friendly brands like Hearst have taken the difficulty of surplus product into their own hands. New York-based designer has recently created an exclusive Retro Fit line for London’s Selfridges using established stock—think reworked cashmere, newly dyed shirt dresses, and patchwork bucket bags.
A modern approach to work
There are, of course, difficulties in factoring up into the design process. Marine Serre had to entirely reconsider her development schedule for SS21 after discovering that it would take even longer to complete orders for her upcycled parts. The French designer told Vogue.