After decades of unsustainable practices, it only took a global pandemic to dismantle the fashion industry’s dysfunctional calendar and unethical supply chains. Despite being one of the most damaging industries in the world, responsible for immense amounts of landfill, water pollution and exploitative human labour, fast fashion thrived in our pre-Covid world.
One of the silver linings of lockdown has been a shift towards conscious consumerism — the yearning for a new dress every Saturday night has all but gone out the window; we are buying less and, for the most part, there has been a sustained effort to buy from independent and local businesses.
Reworked and upcycled clothing has found its place in the zeitgeist thanks to a new DIY movement that has been thriving online, particularly via social media and resale platforms. Lyst, the world’s largest fashion search platform, reported a 42pc search increase for upcycled clothing in its 2020 Conscious Fashion Report. A quick browse on Depop, the reselling platform beloved by Gen Z shoppers, returns hundreds of upcycled items — but the most exciting upcycled clothing is being pioneered by a young generation of fashion graduates whose commitment to sustainability means they think, and source,