Display Copy; is not your everyday fashion magazine as it only features used clothing items. It is all secondhand, thrifted, pre-loved and for resale. Circular fashion is unavoidable. The future of fashion is where upcycling will become a common practice for brands.
The post pandemic industry is waking up to the systemic change that the value chain of fashion will embrace, and it is no other than circularity, regenerative design, solution based creativity, data driven processes and a systems approach based on extended manufacturing and brand responsibility.
I have shopped for 2nd hand jeans all over the world from the tiny streets of Daikenyama in Japan to Rose Bowl in LA for many years and have a great archive of clothing which I mainly used for inspiration as well as admiring the unique story each piece would have. Hunting down the “best” 2nd hand piece has been a part of the product development work for many technical and creative designers. Many of the modern denim constructions were inspired by the imprints of a re-loved piece sometimes for its indigo shade or fabric construction as well as its unique styling. Now the re-loved pieces are reaching a wider audience not only as captured pieces of inspiration but as fashion to wear and to curate. Second hand is also not a romance but more a necessity as informed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, 85% of textiles end up in landfills and the average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually. We are still at the earlier stages of the resell market potential and Thread Up had predicted that will hit $64 billion by 2024, with the online secondhand market growing 69 percent between 2019 and 2021. “Lyst, the global fashion search platform, revealed in a 2019 fashion report that people are searching for sustainability-related keywords more than ever before. Alongside re-commerce keywords such as “resale” and “preloved”, searches for specific sustainable and organic materials have grown too. On average, sustainable fashion keyword searches have risen by 75% year-on-year. “ says GreenQueen.
Patagonia has been one of the pioneers in defining a brand owned 2nd hand market through their Worn Wear Program. Eileen Fischer through their Renew offer states that making clothes is a lifetime commitment and offers to extend the life-cycle of the clothes they produce. Levi`s Secondhand, a buyback and resale program allows customers to sell their old Levi`s so it can remain in use. This is a great example of extended brand responsibility as well as creating a community around what the brand stands for. Maison Margiela introduced its Recicla line which is a collection built with the garments that are found in charity shops and then re-designed. Gucci has also recently teamed with the RealReal, the resale platform for its unique second life store; making Gucci 2nd hand easier to access.
The change is not only happening at the luxury end of fashion as fast fashion giant H&M has debuted a new garment-to-garment recycling system called “Looop”, which enables the transformation of unwanted clothing into new textiles. It’s the latest move in a series of circularity-focused measures the company has made in recent months as it faces greater pressure from consumers over its environmental responsibility. Looop is developed in partnership with The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) and Hong Kong-based yarn spinner Novetex, and the machine disassembles and assembles old garments. It first cleans and shreds them into fibers, before spinning them into brand new yarns that can be knitted into trendy new pieces – all without the use of water or toxic chemicals.
The brands are acknowledging the need to extend the ownership of their products as the consumers are questioning the value of their purchases. The pandemic-induced economic factors, the increased desire to express one`s values through fashion are also shaping the new consumption trends. The resale market is defining not only to do good but also to practice creativity on a collaborative path. I am sure that we will see more beautiful content as well as products being developed around the potential re-love fashion presents and Display Copy will not be the last magazine to present the beauty and the creativity of second hand clothes.