All of our materials from our SS23 drop were sourced from a local Fabric Scrap Yard in NYC. This allowed us to up-cycle premium deadstock items from designers like Ralph Lauren, Levis, and more. During this part of the process we sort through tons of patches, fabrics, and clothes until we find the perfect pieces that we can use to make something new. By using clothes that we already have to make new pieces we are saving tons of textile waste from ending up in Landfills around the world.
This part of the process refers to the deconstruction of the old pieces that will allow us to turn them into new pieces. During this stage we are dissecting whole pieces like jeans, jackets, and other full pieces and breaking them down into flat pieces that we can use to make something else. Depending on the garments being up-cycled a skilled artisan is required for maximum use of the material; this is a very detail oriented portion of any up-cycling project. It can take anywhere from 72 hours to a week to completely deconstruct enough garments to produce a handbag depending on the scope of the up-cycling project. Our recent SS23 project took 3 months to create 5 pieces.
Cleaning & Preparation
Once the garments have been deconstructed they then have to be professionally cleaned because they are second hand. This part of the process is especially detail oriented because the cleanliness of a second hand product could make or break the sustainability of the garment. For example, denim requires a cold wash and should be air dried to preserve the premium touch and feel of the fabric. Our priority is to create a garment/accessory that will still be in good shape 10 to 15 years from now.
Once the textiles have been cleaned they must be prepared for reconstruction. In the case of patchwork this requires a great amount of detail. Patch must be cohesive to the design, fit the overall aesthetic, and be measured pristinely in order for the design to work. Patchwork requires a lot of detail, precision, and man hours. The construction process for one piece alone could take a skilled artisan at least 4 days to complete. This may be one of the most difficult phases of any up-cycling project.