Partnering with the Salvation Army Trading Company, we enlisted the help of two Scottish designers to transform unwanted clothing donated to charity into striking high-fashion collections – challenging perceptions of textile waste.
Following a 12-week residency, the stunning collections are now complete and we spoke to Aimee Kent to find out what inspired her designs.
Why did you want to get involved in the Love Your Clothes SATCol project?
As a sustainable lifestyle brand, I’m focused on delivering luxury, seasonless, sustainable designs.
I was attracted to this particular project because I’ve always been keen to explore the re-working of postconsumer clothing and textiles, turning them into something new, desirable and sellable.
Having previously worked with recycled fabrics and factory offcuts, this project has allowed me to take my previous experience to a new level and develop my skills in upcycling.
What inspired your Zero Waste fashion collection?
I found inspiration for my collection in the architectural facades of the Salvation Army Trading Company’s headquarters in New York, as well as retro Salvation Army logos and graphic artwork.
Using inspiration from the art deco features, I created hand drawn artwork which was then transformed into repeat patterns and placement prints. All of the garments, panelling and embroidered details are inspired by the symmetrical geometric art deco structures.
What is your favourite item that you have transformed?
I love the modular dress outfit because of its modern take on art deco style – it’s also very versatile and can be worn in two different ways for daytime and evening at any time of the year… it’s a real standout sustainable piece!
What is your top tip for others looking to upcycle an old or damaged item?
Be creative; don’t just focus on turning up hems or making shorts out of a pair of jeans. Think outside the box and look to Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Think about how you can add some real personal flair, for example by hand dying, tie-dying, block printing or sewing on embellishments. There are some great upcycling YouTube tutorials out there too!
What’s your top care tip for your collection?
Treat your clothes with respect and follow the instructions on the care labels properly in order to get the most out of them. Don’t over-wash items. People wash their clothes too often so unless they’re visibly stained or smelly they’re absolutely fine.
Get the inspiration
Check out our dedicated Pinterest board to see more images from the Zero Waste fashion project.