Ethical and upcycled design

Written by Paper. Posted in Art

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Published on July 03, 2016 with No Comments

Everyone knows what recycling is, but say the word, “upcycle” and brows become knitted – in some quarters at least. Upcycle refers to the practice of converting useless stuff into new stuff. It could be the unused parachutes from the British military. It could be leftover bolts of cloth from uniforms. It could be stuff that didn’t meet standards of one kind or the other but would be perfectly good for other, less intense uses. Welcome to the world of Christopher Raeburn who is hitting the runways of London’s Fashion Week with a set of “ethical” wear, using the upcycle process.
The Battledress parka appearing on a cover of none less than Vogue, is actually reinvented battle wear that never saw battle. It came from military storehouses of army surplus. Some coats were lined with old, military, cotton bed sheets. Others were upcycled from army boots. Even the Swiss Army Knife was not exempt from a remake. Raeburn melted down Swiss military horse shoe nails to make knife scales – which are the outer coverings of the Swiss Army Knife. Who had any idea that the Swiss army had horse shoe nails just lying around? In any case, it’s just one more example of the eye of the designer meeting his social conscience and arriving at a harmonious relationship.

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