If there is anything we are all aware of, it is the fact that our flippant attitude regarding overuse and wastage has severely affected the planet that we call home. Every industry has contributed to deterioration of natural resources in one way or another. But as an industry that is led by creatives who draw from history, culture and contemporary issues, it is upsetting that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. While we all love staying on trend, it should never come at the cost of pollution and destruction.
The recognition of this fact is the reason why sustainability has become the movement of our age, across different industries. There are various ways to live sustainably, from being mindful of water usage to inculcating the basics of conservation - reduce, reuse and recycle.While one of the core tenets of living a more conscious life has always been to recycle, it also uses a certain amount of resources in breaking down materials and creating new products. Although we can consider reuse and reduce as the other two steps, there is only for so long that one can keep wearing the same pieces or abstain from making new purchases.
This is where the process that uses discarded materials to create a new products known as upcycling comes in. For fashion, this means using discarded garments, accessories and the like to create new products. While there are umpteen videos on how to upcycle various pieces, it is not feasible for everyone to adopt, especially if you are not good with crafts. But with the increasing number of designers who are making use of this technique to create products, it is not necessary to go the DIY way to make upcylcled fashion a part of your wardrobe.
REFASH is a platform that makes it easy to discover contemporary upcycled products and accessories and the creative artisans, designers and brands behind them. They aim to create a circular economy where all products are re-used again and again, in different ways and waste is not an option. Founded by Akanksha Kaila Akashi, the platform aims to be a singular place where one can find all information about upcycling – stories of upcycling designers across the world, events on upcycling, DIY tutorials, books on upcycling etc.
In addition to providing insight into how upcycled products are made and what upcycling related events are happening, REFASH has recently launched their shop section, where one can buy upcycled fashion and accessories. While they only have a limited number of brands right now, they are hoping to add 10-12 brands in the coming month.
Most of all, REFASH is organizing their first upcycling pop up event, that is the first of its kind in Mumbai. From August 9th – 16th,Teatro Dhora in Bandra will become home to the best Indian upcycling designers in the nation. The products will range across garments, jewellery, bags, shoes and more. Some of the brands that are part of the event include I Was A Sari, Inai, We are Labeless, The Loom Art and more. In addition to shopping opportunity, there will also be talks on upcycling, repair events, mending workshops and so on.
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