Upcycling 2.0 – the new cultural currency

More than 73 percent of the world’s clothing is destined to end up in landfills. To address the fashion waste problem, brands are collaborating to turn dead stock into fashionable items giving  sustainability a new street and cultural currency.

Deployed Airbags Collection

Heron Preston and Mercedes-Benz explore sustainability through the lens of culture.  The two brands have come together to create an upcycle collection using deployed airbags.  Fascinated by the technology, the designer incorporated a mini airbag into one of the jackets to allow for on demand garment volume control depending on the user’s preference. This partnership is more than just another cool streetwear drop. 

It shows the relationship between sustainability and innovation, design and culture, it’s those pillars that come together and it’s about pushing boundaries, and creating new relationships that can tell new stories.

heron preston
Photo credit: courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Photo credit: courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Boucherouite T-shirt Rugs

Stussy partners up with Artisan Project – Morocco based women’s weaving cooperative – to turn old t-shirts into one of a kind rugs.  The colorful rugs are inspired by the Californian landscape, surf culture and by the traditional boucherouite rug weaving technique which uses old clothes or textiles scraps.  

Photo credit: courtesy of Stussy
Photo credit: courtesy of Stussy
Photo credit: courtesy of Stussy

Handmade Vintage 

In less than two years Bentgablenits, specializing in redesigning vintage garments into coveted drops, has amassed a following from the likes of Drake, Bella Hadid and Travis Scott. Its latest collaboration with Levi’s is merging a nostalgia core aesthetic with a rework approach.  The Bloom Collections reimagines Levi’s Authorized Vintage 501® Jeans and Trucker Jackets by decorating each piece with crochet flowers and hand stitched details using deadstock yarns.

Photo credit: courtesy of Levi’s

Upcycling 2.0 is addressing the growing consumer desire to shop more mindfully while still looking cool.

Words by Tsveti Enlow

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