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 designers Maxine Dickson and Jemma Wood of Black Cherry Studio to find out what inspired their designs.
Why did you want to get involved in the Love Your Clothes SATCol project?
We were delighted to be selected for this opportunity. In our day-to-day textile design business we mainly deal directly with retailers and manufacturers and don’t always get to work face-to-face with the general public. This project gave us that opportunity and we’ve loved every second of it.
We also greatly admire the work of the Salvation Army Trading Company and Zero Waste Scotland, so it has been a privilege to help share the Love Your Clothes message!
What inspired your Zero Waste fashion collection?
As we are a studio who specialise in print we wanted this to be our main focus within the collection.
Our inspiration was drawn from both the Salvation Army and Love Your Clothes campaign. We wanted to keep it closely linked and so based our collection on the ten key staple wardrobe items listed on the Love Your Clothes website.
We also took inspiration directly from the Salvation Army Trading Company for our colour palette and print ideas. All of our print ideas are taken from items connected to the charity, for example, the instruments from the well-known brass band, the stars on the epaulettes and also an army camouflage motif have all made it into our designs.
What is your favourite item that you have transformed?
Creating our collection involved developing new prints and adding them to an existing garment and then slightly amending to give it a new lease of life. We have also completely deconstructed garments, transforming them into accessories.
We wanted to include both of these elements into our collection to show people just how easy it can be to transform an already existing item into something new and wearable again.
There a too many items in the collection that we love and enjoyed creating for us to pick a straight out favourite! We get the most out of seeing that by simply adding a new print design and making a couple of tweaks to an already existing garment it can completely transform a look.
What is your top tip for others looking to upcycle an old or damaged item?
Keep it simple. Upcycling can be very easy once you know how and by using very simple techniques it can completely change the look of an item. It can be as easy as adding a new bit of print, cutting off the sleeves or even just changing the buttons on an item.
What’s your top care tip for your collection?
Our collection items are all individual, hand printed, one-off pieces so our best care tip would be to hand wash or dry clean the items in order to keep them looking their best.
Check out our dedicated Pinterest board to see more images from the Zero Waste fashion project.