The independent label 78stitches just debuted on the market by launching a small collection completely based on the upcycling of waste fabrics and materials sourced from mills’ leftovers. These intrepid creatives are even engaging in a call to action on social media to involve more factories in the production cycle. Is this the beginning of a new revolution?
Truthfully it might take more than 78 stitches, but refashioning used clothes is certainly a concept worth exploring. In the current scenario, where the “buy-now-throw-now” concept constantly clashes with environmentally sustainable initiatives, each brand is trying to find their own position in the market, and upcycling might just be the perfect compromise.
During the last decade, many brands have promoted recycling and sustainable fashion in their own way. Many are still doing it, and, hopefully, even more will in the future. Or at least that is where the industry appears to be heading towards. By now, almost everyone is aware of campaigns and ventures such as the in-store recycling by Zara and H&M, or the committed collections by Mango and the enduring sustainable mission of Stella McCartney. But what about upcycling?
This is the lesser-known process of bringing back to life old, used up, and ruined clothes (or anything, really) and generating an improved version of the initial product. The main idea behind this process is obviously to reduce the huge amount of waste that clutters the world and our lives.
Most of us have surely done it at least once, even unconsciously, trying to recreate that brilliant DIY project seen in a magazine or to save those dear objects we aren’t really ready to let go of. “Why can’t we do it with our clothes too?” feels like something we should all concretely consider.
And that is exactly what the brand 78stitches did.
This new label is, in fact, aiming to conquer its own place within the massive fashion industry panorama just through the application of upcycling production techniques. On a global scale, 78stitches is surely not the only brand starting to adopt upcycling, as Sass Brown’s newly released book “ReFashioned” demonstrates.
This is definitely a booming phenomenon of the last few years; 78stitches is, however, standing out with its recently released seven-piece unisex collection. As the website states, these garments were created around the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi (“a beauty hidden right in front of our eyes, an aesthetic of simplicity, asymmetry, roughness, and modesty”) and, as weird as it might sound at first, the concept actually resounds with the designs. The collection has an 80s New York vibe, but the concept behind is certainly well embedded in the oriental appreciation of beauty and simplicity.
In a world where everything is going full speed towards uncertain futures and the opulence of unnecessary waste is exponentially increasing, witnessing a change of direction is like a breath of fresh air, to say the least. Whether this small brand will actually make a breakthrough or not, the fashion industry and frankly the world as well can always benefit from such positive initiatives. Who knows, maybe they will actually make a difference one stitch at a time.
Words: Vivee Barengo
Hashtags: #78stitches #upcycling #sustainablefashion #recycleclothes