Upcycling Champions: 6 Fashion Brands Turning Textile Waste into Treasure

Textile waste is a huge part of the reason the fashion industry is arguably the 4th largest industry polluting our earth. Each year, clothing items and textiles are thrown in landfills. Most of the fabrics and fibers tossed each year are made up of toxic chemicals and take years, if not lifetimes, to decompose. These 6 brands are taking steps- big and small to combat that!

1. Onememoir

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This fashion startup is based in the UK and was founded by two former University of Edinburgh students. The duo uses secondhand pieces to create one-of-a-kind jackets and coats. Because one of the cofounders is a native of the Caribbean, the pair decided to have their first collection made by Caribbean women, and on the islands. Onememoir aims to keep clothing away from landfills, and in our closets for years to come.

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Admittedly, this designer is a good friend of mine, so I may be a bit biased. However, it's hard not to brag about such a talented woman! Margaret Burton is incredibly passionate about fighting for ethical fashion through her designs, and teaching others. Her recent designs feature pieces previously owned by family, friends, and ex-boyfriends. There are so many stories behind our clothes and Margaret is bringing them to light.

3. PreLoved

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Based in Toronto, this Canadian fashion brand is "saving the planet, one sweater at a time". Their site features sweaters and shirts that are made completely out of recycled and dead stock materials. Preloved is bringing new life to these forgotten pieces, and doing it all with love.

4. Maria Vesper

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This NYC based designer's top priorities are recycling and reinvention. Through her use of vintage fabrics, Maria Vesper creates beautiful motorcycle jackets. Upcycling is often condescended to and thought of as a hobby rather than type of design, however, Maria is elevating the game with her high-end outerwear.

5. The Renewal Workshop

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This fashion company focuses on taking on the responsibility of owning a business and creating value in everything they do. The Renewal Workshop recycles, and upcycles, items into durable clothing pieces. Based in Oregon, this company is creating stable job opportunities and saving textiles from being wasted.

6. Zero Waste Daniel

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Daniel Silverstein is a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate and NYC based designer. He started his brand, Zero Waste Daniel, in 2016 and has been rising in popularity since. Each design is created solely out of fabric scraps and made to stand the test of time. The brand sells unisex, zero waste, pieces made entirely in New York City.

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Get involved in the #slowfashionmovement!