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i-D’s new series captures the beauty of upcycling

‘Tear It Up!’ sees young designers transform the old into the new.

by Douglas Greenwood
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Oct 3 2019, 2:01pm

Tear it Up!

Could you create something beautiful from a pile of old T-shirts and fishing rope, tattered denim and industrial tubes? When you think about it, every upcycled garment is a bespoke work of art, regardless of what the source materials may be.

Fast fashion and endless reproduction has the environment in a vice-like grip, and so there’s greater demand than ever for designers to look deeper into what’s already been put out into the world and find a way to make something new from it. Enter i-D’s new series, Tear It Up!. Every week, we hand a mound of old clothing and found materials to a designer we love and ask them to create a one-of-a-kind new piece from it.

In the series’ first episode, we ask i-D favourite Matthew Needham to put his skills into action in front of our lens. As a renowned lover of found materials who truly personifies sustainability in the fashion world, he’s the perfect talent to transform what would be landfill into a singular work of art. Watch as he spins rope around ripped up cotton, and creates a crinoline silhouette from bits of rubbish.

“Upcycling is an inherent part of my work,” Matthew tells i-D. “But at the same time, doing it under the time constraints and with those materials was quite fun actually! In this environment, we need to reiterate the idea of positive change through projects like Tear It Up!, where we promote creativity in its rawest sense, and put it out into the world as both a method of change and a positive influence for the future.”

What’s more, at the end of the series you’ll have the rare opportunity to buy the pieces created by i-D’s hand-selected designers via Depop. So stay tuned. A piece of fashion history could soon be yours.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.