turn your trash into treasure for fashion revolution week
In a bid to prove we really can be climate conscious as well as fashion conscious, designers Matthew Needham and Maddie Williams will be hosting an open studio during Fashion Revolution Week, where attendees can mend, upcycle and customise old clothes.
Photography Chloe English @_chloeenglish
As Oscar Wilde once said, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” Cut to almost two centuries later and fashion is so hideous that most of us are wearing ‘looks’ that are only made to be worn once. As in you’ll only catch us wearing the same outfit twice is if we’ve literally died in it. Fast fashion has the wheels of progress spinning so quickly they’re about to come off, and three-quarters of us would rather throw old clothes away than donate or upcycle them. One Central Saint Martins graduate has made it his mission to break this pattern and is inviting you to help him.
Between working on his first post-graduate collection and teaching at Kingston, Matthew Needham has set up an initiative called DiscoMAKE Brixton, with friend and fellow upcycler Maddie Williams, to tackle the all important question: can we be climate conscious as well as fashion conscious? The answer is, of course, a resounding yes.
In an attempt to breathe new life into our wardrobes (without breaking your bank or our eco-system), the pair will be hosting an open studio during Fashion Revolution Week, where attendees can mend, upcycle and customise old clothes. “The intention," Matthew tells i-D, “is that you take away creative solutions for extending the life of your clothes to implement into your own consuming habits.”
Matthew was brought up in Leicester and has been making stuff ever since he can remember. “Growing up with hard-grafting parents taught me to work hard and not to be afraid of getting my hands dirty. This makes sense now that I spend half of my time searching through trash.” In fact, Matthew loves trash so much it informs all his designs. “My work ultimately is about value, and questions skill and creativity, which is extremely important today considering the current political climate.”
DiscoMAKE Brixton was originally organised with Greenpeace last December, and due to its popularity has since expanded to Brixton’s Barnado’s. “The idea is about thinking creatively about the way we look at our clothes, and how we can give them a longer life. It is a nod to anti-consumerism and is an active part of Fashion Revolution Week.” Matthew has high hopes for both the initiative and the industry. “If we maintain artisanal craft and skill both in the UK and across the world then a more sustainable way of thinking will become second nature.”
So, whether like Morrissey you have not a stitch to wear, or like Tinie Tempah you have so many clothes you keep them at your aunt’s, everyone is welcome to join Matthew and Maddie on the 26th of April and turn their trash into treasure.