Seneca Fashion Arts faculty member, Professor Jennifer Dares has published a chapter “Fashion Upcycling a Canadian Perspective” in Circular Economy : Assessment and Case Studies (2021).
Abstract Upcycling is a design practice that uses pre- and post-consumer textile waste derived from apparel manufacturers or disassembled garments to create new fashion, providing a sustainable design solution to divert textile waste from landfills. The qualitative research study underpinning this chapter examined challenges faced by Canadian designers who upcycle and strategic solutions they integrated into their business models. The study used purposive sampling to recruit participants who had more than 10 years of textile experience and had produced an upcycled retail collection for at least 2 years. Participants included representatives from Brand A, whose accessories have sold in 20 stores (including Simon’s in Montreal); Brand B, featured in British Vogue, with stores in the U.K. and Sweden; Brand C, a children’s wear brand that received accolades from fashion icon Jeanne Beker; Brand D, a Canadian upcycling pioneer with collections retailed at Anthropology, Holt Renfrew, Roots, and Sporting Life; and Brand E, the winner of the 2018 CAFA Fashion Impact and the H&M Sustainability awards. Interview findings revealed design challenges related to on-trend, ever-evolving fashion styles; achieving high volume; and training design teams to recognize “good” versus “bad” damage through the brands’ respective aesthetic lens. Main production challenges involved scale, labour, and cleaning, while retail challenges included price, stigma, and narrative. Findings reported in this chapter contribute to knowledge regarding strategies for designing, producing, and retailing upcycled fashion both in Canada and globally. This study is important to academic community members who wish to engage in upcycling and offers tangible strategies to participate in a circular economy, divert textile waste from landfills, and potentially alleviate climate change.
Keywords Fashion · Design · Sustainability · Upcycling · Redesign · Textile waste · Sustainable clothing · Production
Muthu, S. S. (2021). Circular Economy : Assessment and Case Studies . SPRINGER.