Keep your eyes peeled for a brand new collaboration with a difference coming soon to Topshop.com. Our design team have worked with Orsola de Castro and Filippo Ricci from Reclaim To Wear, who specialise in creating amazing garments using only left over fabrics from the fashion industry.
We spoke to Orsola and Filippo, along with the Topshop design team and Stephen Mongan, Head of Sourcing and Technical Services, about the project. The Topshop RTW crew also gave us some handy tips on how to DIY your own reclaimed fashion pieces.
What is Reclaim To Wear?
[Orsola and Filippo] We set up Reclaim To Wear as a way of using up all the beautiful fabrics left over from designer collections. With all the environmental challenges we are facing, the fashion industry is looking for design solutions for the future. Sometimes, to be really innovative, you have to take the best from the past and bring it to the future.
Why has Topshop worked with Reclaim to Wear?
[Stephen] We met the RTW pioneers Orsolo and Filippo at a Sri Lankan design festival a few years ago and were really inspired by the way they work – turning fabric that is considered to be 'waste' into amazing, unique pieces of clothing.
What were the design inspirations behind the collection?
[Topshop Design Team] We had a New York style, clean aesthetic in mind. We took ideas from the fact that we were working with a jersey factory, then got inspired by laces and meshes we found in the basement. A lot of the looks were a happy accident – we had to forget the traditional design process and got very excited by what emerged as the final pieces.
What did you learn from working the RTW way?
[Topshop Design Team] It was really fun! Using only what we had available to us meant that we suddenly considered fabric combinations that had never occured to us before. Mixing up fabric and colour on even a basic shape can create a very directional piece.
What are the key pieces of the collection and how would you style them?
There's a t-shirt dress that is a great example of how the upcycling process determined the final product. It has a bright red panel across the chest because otherwise the dress would be too sheer – but the splash of colour looks amazing! We'd wear it with a favourite pair of 16 hole black Doc Martens.
Why is the Topshop Reclaim to Wear project so important?
[Topshop Design Team] We have a responsibility to respect the impact we have on the world, so this project is our way of helping out.
If you're feeling inspired by the idea of Reclaim To Wear, then check back in a few weeks when the collection lands on Topshop.com – plus we've got step by step instructions on how to create your own DIY designs – like the studded collar tee below. This is upcycling – Topshop style!