Skip to content

From Trash To Treasure – Circles of Life

I have been doing recycled fashion garments since the age of 11. The only thing is, at that point of time I did not realise I am doing something cool, trendy and good for our planet. In post soviet society beginning of 90-s I spent my teenage years in with coupon system and extreme shortage of anything in the empty-shelve-shops that seemed to be the only way to get something new in your wardrobe. I remade my family’s unwanted old clothes into “new” skirts and dresses for myself using old newspapers and bits of old wallpaper to draft patterns on. I knew close to nothing about pattern cutting and went with my intuition and the eye rule to make my clothes look good.I love the art of remaking and giving new life to something old and unwanted. Now making clothes on a more professional level I always try to practice “reduce-reuse-recycle” rule in my work, the habit I kept from those old days. I use recycled paper from a printing factory for my patterns and always use it to bits never throwing away pieces I can reuse. I always try to cut my fabric with the minimum amount of wastage, moreover I always keep all the fabric pieces I have left to use them in other creative projects (toy making, decorative bits and bobs for the house, etc) and, yes, I have plenty of these pieces in my house!For this project I challenged myself to go 100% recycled. I wanted to see how far I can get with that idea. I made a perfectly wearable outfit for myself (a dress and a cropped jacket) using fabric, trims and embellishments, lining and even interfacing from only unwanted clothes, curtains. I used Gutermann sew-all polyester thread made from recycled plastic bottles.

I did all my sketches on unwanted bits and pieces of paper with recycled pencils and pens made from old newspapers and recycled ink jet cartridges. I even used sustainable washing liquid to pre wash all the fabric for this project. But that was not enough! I had plenty of leftovers, so I did a dress for my little daughter from those pieces of fabric I had after sewing my outfit. Also, I used all the "rubbish" I had after sewing process (tiny bits of threads and fabrics) and made two hats/fascinators for me and my daughter. (All the images below).

This project was created for a fashion competition held by Open Colleges, Australia's online educator in 2014 and it won the first prize.

Leave a Reply