3.5 Tonnes of Upcycled Trash Walked the Runway at London Fashion Week

3.5 Tonnes of Upcycled Trash Walked the Runway at London Fashion Week

‘Trashion’ is redefining what luxury fashion means.

London Fashion Week is usually a time for designers to showcase their latest collections and fashion fans to plan their next season purchases. This year, the focus shifted to the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill. According to sponsor Vanish, 3.5 tonnes of clothing get thrown away every 5 minutes in Britain.


The garment care brand’s mission is use its reach to 69 million homes to encourage more sustainable behaviours when buying, wearing, caring, and disposing of clothes. So “The Rewear Edit” is a fashion show where models are dressed in discarded clothing. Lauded fashion editor, stylist, and sustainability advocate Miranda Almond recycles outfits from the textile trash to create new looks. In addition, she shares insider tips and tricks on how to refresh unused pieces. 

“Before you throw away that item that’s been unloved and unworn lying in the bottom of your wardrobe, think again,” she points out in the “Rewear” video. “With a little imagination, love and restoration that item can be re-worn and reimagined to have a super stylish second life.”

Vanish have also partnered with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to promote sustainability research and education. The Clean Clothes 2019 campaign research showed that one in three fast fashion items ended up in a landfill.  The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) 2017 estimated £140 million worth of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year. Vanish has backed up these sobering statistics. According to its research, 64% of consumers only wear an item of clothing once and 50% admit they own clothes they’ve never worn. The research also revealed that most consumers were not aware of the climate outcome of their behaviour. They placed clothing fourth after housing, transport, and food items in terms of presumed impact on the environment.

3.5 Tonnes of Upcycled Trash Walked the Runway at London Fashion Week
Image: Marco Mori Photography/Vanish

Fashion Forward

The Institute of Positive Fashion is the most recent Vanish and BFC collaboration. This organisation intends to make the British fashion industry more circular.  For example, the “Switch to Blue” campaign wants single-use plastic hangars replaced by Arch & Hook marine plastic hangers. The “Switch to Green” initiative asks fashion businesses to swap to a green energy supplier. Brands who’ve already committed include Christopher Raeburn, Harvey Nichols, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, and Stella McCartney. 

LFW saw several British designers also pursuing a sustainable fashion future. The Vivienne Westwood collection was 80% organic and recycled cotton, eco-denim, recycled synthetics, and 100% FSC certified viscose. Reducing the climate impact of denim, designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida used dyes created from waste products and fabric made from recycled ocean plastic waste. Preen focused on seasonal switches rather than trends to discourage over-consumption. Using FCO certified materials, recycled fabrics, dead stock and recycled garments, its collections are currently 70% sustainable. The aim is 90% by the end of 2021. 

Want to know more about sustainable fashion? Take a look here.

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