Photo: Reet Aus

Upcycling has come a long way. Creating new garments using discarded materials and scraps from the garment industry that would otherwise end up in landfills seemed difficult to scale up for the mass market. Most upcycling production models needed to stay small-scale and hand-made. But then came Reet Aus, an Estonian fashion designer and Ph.D. who has developed a system for putting manufactures and designers who want their scraps in contact for large scale manufacturing. The database is called Trash To Trend. In her own line, which features some menswear, Aus provides info sheets that compare the envionrmental impacts of upcycled materials used in each garment against the impacts of using the same “virgin” material.

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