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Our Favourite Fashion Brands Who Focus On Upcycled Pieces

Words: Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse

Upcycling may have only become the zeitgeist capturing phenomenon that it is now thanks to idle hands in the various lockdown situations we found ourselves in throughout 2020 and 2021, but the fashion-centric trend is now very much in demand. However, the basic idea behind it has been around for a long time. Whether it’s tales of grandparents fashioning everything from wedding dresses to baby clothes out of old tablecloths and hand-me-downs, or thrifty shoppers mending and reimagining vintage garments into modern showstoppers, the exposure to upcycling has increased tenfold and our desire to turn waste materials into something new is only growing.

So, we’ve rounded up five of our favourite brands whose offering of upcycled pieces is unrivalled and impossible not to shop.

Reworked Fashion

Reworked fashion has taken centre stage recently

Photo: Stain


My Poor Purse

My Poor Purse is a made to order, size inclusive slow fashion brand based along the glorious Southern coast of the UK in Southampton. Started by owner Jade back in 2016, the brand has grown from stocking small accessories like purses and bags to now boasting a website filled to the brim with a vast array of clothing items available in the wonderfully inclusive size range of 6-30.

All My Poor Purse pieces are made by Jade and Jade alone in her, self-admittedly, ‘very average sized home studio,’ out of a variety of different fabrics including deadstock prints, 100% cotton printed fabric, and, most unique to My Poor Purse, customers own t-shirts. The latter source of material is used to create one of the brand’s most popular items, the Renewed T-Shirt Smock where customers can send in their old t-shirts to receive them back as the most adorable renewed mini or midi dresses.

Despite the ingenuity of the t-shirt dresses, our favourite item on offer is undoubtedly the scrap mini dress. Crafted with leftover fabric scraps too small to be made into anything but this beautiful patchwork design, every dress is inherently limited edition. Plus, as all of My Poor Purse’s items are made-to-order, you can rest in the fact that your clothing will not be creating any excess waste - a dream!

Pomshell The Label

As if you needed any more excuses to buy clothes, Pomshell The Label is here to give you another. By planting one tree for every single order they receive, we won’t be surprised if the UK’s lacking habitats are soon completely regenerated as customers flock to buy the beautiful creations of brand owner Alexandra.

The made-to-order slow fashion brand specialises in creating unique bandana style dresses, as well as in crafting stunning statement earrings, all of which are single handedly designed and made in the UK and are available in sizes XS to 5XL. From floating, party-ready patchwork dresses, to relaxed maxi dresses boasting skirts crafted from 8-14 full bandanas, reworking this fabric clearly wasn’t enough for Alexandra as she also stocks the ‘Off Cut Bandana Dress’ made from bandana cut-offs left over from other orders.

Another plus? She’s also ‘totally customisable’ and you can pick the neck line, sleeve length and skirt length - you can even add a trim and pockets! It’s the perfect way to get exactly what you want without it, literally, costing the earth.

Reworked Fashion

Colourful and extravagant, reworked clothing has cornered the market

Photo: Stain


The Marcon Court Project

The Macron Court Project holds values that, if adopted by every fashion brand, could change the world. The brand was born out of founder Laura Casas’s wishes to ‘apply creativity to transform the unloved into the desired, to make items well, and make them to last,’ while also making sure ‘to give back to the world and not just take from her.’

The wonderfully refreshing approach is reflected in the equally enticing fashions on offer. You can trust in the craftsmanship, Laura’s skill is borne out of her three year apprenticeship with Saville Row, and the clothing’s myriad colours, shapes, textures and prints invoke unparalleled joy to compliment the sound structure of the garments perfectly.

All of The Marcon Court Project’s items are made either by mending or reworking old garments or, in the case of creating new items, by using recycled fabrics and fabric remnants to save them from becoming waste. You may think this means that Laura is limited in what she can create, but you’d be wrong. The Macron Court Project storefront is littered with such a huge array of different clothing styles, from their ‘Harry Shirts’ to the effortlessly cool ‘Anna Dress,’ it’s impossible to highlight a standout piece.

The newest addition to their huge collection of items is the ‘Olivia Dress,’ a bright and bold, leopard print maxi dress. The piece’s silhouette is one favoured by the designer, an oversized design that offers comfort without losing any air of chic thanks to its statement collar and impeccable tailoring. Any item from The Marcon Court Project can be trusted to last a lifetime and look good for all of it too.

Rebekah Peters The Label

Rebekah Peters really does it all when it comes to upcycled fashion. On top of her selection of handmade clothing and accessories, which she crafts by hand in Nottingham out of preloved curtains and bedding, she also offers custom orders and a ‘send in your fabrics’ option where she will make a unique dress from customer’s own curtains, duvet covers or the like.

Her custom clothing, available in the inclusive size range of UK6-24, is available in four different styles, all of which are then made unique by the customer’s choice of 80 different fabrics, a selection that’s increasing in number as she adds new materials every week. Whether you’re after a pink gingham maxi dress with long, balloon sleeves or a mini wrap dress in an 80s floral print, Rebekah can fulfil your wish.

We especially love the selection of ‘Handmade Reworked Tablecloth Shoulder Bags’ available from Rebekah Peters The Label. Made using, unsurprisingly considering their name, vintage tablecloths, the shoulder bags boast a stunning structure, marked with a unique diagonal frame that sits beautifully across the body. They’re beautiful, kind to the planet, and currently part of Rebekah Peters The Label’s sale - what more do you want?

Chopova Lowena

Chopova Lowena A/W23 Collection

Photo: Chopova Lowena


Chopova Lowena

If you haven’t seen Chopova Lowena on TikTok, your algorithm is failing you. Founded in 2017 by Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Irons, the London-based eco-conscious brand has a strong focus on recycling folkloric fabrics, deadstock materials and utilises traditional craft techniques to create their selection of stunning pieces.

The best example is their most viral clothing item, the Mini Carabiner Skirt, which is available in myriad fabrics. This skirt has been worn by everyone from Olivia Rodrigo and Dua Lipa to Lil Nas and Madonna. Everyone loves this skirt and it’s no surprise. The innovative design boasts a thick leather belt onto which pleated deadstock fabric is attached with carabiners. Yes, you heard that right, carabiners. The skirt is the perfect hybrid of Chopova Lowena’s aesthetic influences which range from Bulgarian folklore to 1980s rock climbing, but, taking the biscuit for their most obvious influence is the punk style which can be most obviously seen through their penchant for tartan and leather.

The influence of punk is brought through to the brand’s ethos as well. Raging against the machine, Chopova Lowena prioritises sustainability by using recycled materials and deadstock textiles, most often through the use of preloved pillowcases and aprons. The fashion brand also employs skilled female artisans in Bulgaria to create job opportunities for women that allow them to put their traditional techniques to use on modern items and helps them to rejuvenate and earn a living through their cultural heritage.

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