Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Upcycled T-Shirts You’ll Want To Wear

Published on November 5, 2013 by   ·   1 Comment Pin It
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Reet Aus is a fashion designer and environmentalist. She has been up-cycling her own fashion collections for many years, as well as designing costumes (also upcycled) for theatre and film.

Recently Reet completed her PhD in sustainable fashion design. Her research took her to Bangladesh, where she began working with a factory called Beximco. Beximco make garments for many well known brands, and in the process accumulate a LOT of waste fabrics. But Reet didn’t see a mountain of garbage, she saw treasure! And she set to work.

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Reet gathered her team of experts, and together we took cutting leftovers (8-30%), roll ends (1-10%) and over production (3-5%) and got creative. The result is the up-shirt. The goal is to mass produce t-shirts made entirely of manufacturing leftovers. New up-cycling design and production methods mean we can now mass produce a t-shirt with an 80% smaller environmental footprint. Yup. 80%.

Every year we produce millions of t-shirts. You probably have a few well-loved tees, and maybe a couple souvenir t-shirts from your travels, sports events, concerts, etc – we all do. T-shirts are an iconic essential piece of clothing but, from crop to shop, they carry a pretty heavy environmental burden.
The thing is, factory made t-shirts yield up to 40% wastage. That means 40% of that cotton is grown in vain and huge amounts of water and earth resources are wasted, not to mention spinning the yarn, transporting the fabric, factory labor … you get the idea.
It’s taken years of hard work and research but they’ve come up with a clever design and production model to mass produce t-shirts using that leftover 40%.
If we can show the world mass up-cycling works, we could really change how the fashion industry treats the environment.

Now Reet has a strong partnership with Beximco. They are ‘vertically integrated’, which means that all steps of the production are done in one place. Their production and supply chain is transparent, and they are cooperating with the International Labour Organisation to pay their workers triple the industry standard salary. They also have a very progressive environmental program and go above and beyond when it comes to community and employee care.

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All this said… why on earth would you buy tee shirts anywhere else?

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There’s one more week to support their kickstarter — they’ve already raised 10K pds!

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Terrell Dean says:

    Johannesburg – What began as a simple school art project has exploded into a national political and racial debate, as political commentators, ANC members, Department of Education officials and the average person on the street weigh in on satirical T-shirts portraying Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela and Bheki Cele, produced by Westville Boys’ High School pupils.




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