Over 150 billion new clothing items are produced each year, while millions of pounds of clothing end up in landfills. Eco-conscious designers are re-using clothes in new designs.
The phrase “out with the old and in with the new” is not as applicable in an era where fashion brands are trying to move toward sustainability. Sustainability was the buzzword on the fashion industry’s lips for 2019, and thus came the rising trend of repurposing clothing and fabric. Off-White and Louis Vuitton creative director Virgil Abloh has even predicted the death of streetwear caused by a new preference for vintage.
MI Leggett is the founder and designer of Official Rebrand, a clothing brand made up of upcycled and repurposed clothing. Leggett identifies as gender non-binary and used to have trouble finding clothes to help them express themselves. They began creating their own clothes and received positive feedback from other queer people via Instagram. This inspired them to try and do this on a larger scale, and thus their brand was born.
“Creating these repurposed pieces is a very fluid process for me,” Leggett told The Daily Beast. “I’ve made T-shirts in a whole new shape; I’ve tied shirts up to make them into crop tops. Now I work with partially damaged pieces and figure out how to improve them and make new fashion pieces. There are limitations, but it helps create pieces that are more unique. I’ve done everything from cut sleeves off of clothes to cutting out holes in tops where there are armpit stains to make an entirely new silhouette.”
Creative director and founder Kriti Tula started the brand in 2012. Having studied at Pearl Academy and London College of Fashion, she was appalled at the amount of fabric waste and built her brand around a mission to reduce this problem.
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