Environmental Design Leadership
Upcycling is rapidly ascending to the top of the aspirational apparel industry due to the value-added opportunities it provides. As a result, its older first cousin,’ recycling,’ is gradually being relegated to a mass consumer-driven operation in the sustainability spectrum.
As attempts to ensure the availability of recycled products (feedstock) grind their way up the environmental innovation ladder, ‘upcycling’ is free to soar into genuinely creative materials and creations, due in large part to the creativity of young designers.
These designs are impossible to emulate, and they signal a new luxury industry challenge: environmental design leadership.
A Wasteless Choice
Recycling in the fashion industry helps to eliminate waste by reusing materials and finished garments, save the environment through landfill and pollution reduction by redirecting waste to alternative uses, and preserve natural resources such as water and natural virgin fibres by using a model in which the same materials can be used over and over again.
If the demand shifts away from staples and toward continuous filaments, the ability to mill, mix, and extrude fibres opens up vast possibilities for recycled technology advancement, as well as an economic stimulus and job creation, which makes upcycling a lucrative option.