ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials

By Sass Brown

Availability: In stock

  • Paperback
  • 300 illustrations
  • 208 pages
  • 9¾ x 8⅜ ins
  • ISBN 9781780673011
  • Published October 2013

The area of recycling and upcycling is a rich and growing source of innovative design in the fashion and accessories industries.

In a fast-fashion world of throw-away clothing, it is the ultimate expression of the slow-fashion movement, with each piece individually conceived and crafted from scratch, using different materials each time.

ReFashioned features 46 international designers who work with recycled materials and discarded garments, reinvigorating them with new life and value. The result is beautiful and desirable clothing and accessories that also make an important statement to the fashion world about its wasteful and exploitative practices.

About the Author

Sass Brown is Acting Assistant Dean for the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. Originally from London, England, Sass established herself as a designer with her own signature collection selling in the UK and across Canada. As a researcher, writer and blogger, her area of expertise is eco fashion, in all of its different expressions, from slow design and heritage craft skills to recycle, reuse and new business models. She has published papers, spoken, taught and advised women’s cooperatives and educational institutions in Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Sri Lanka, Italy, France, US, Canada and the UK, on the topic of sustainable design. Voted in the top 10 Women Who Changed the Face of Fashion by Fashion Compassion, Brown promotes the best in eco fashion design, through a multitude of media, most notably her books, her website and her journalism.


Customer Reviews

Shows us an alternative fashion world Review by Professor Rebecca Earley, Director of Textile Futures Research Centre, University of the Arts London
Sass Brown’s new book shows us an alternative fashion world – one where the skill of the designer at selecting and using unwanted materials reigns supreme – and with her extensive case study research she brings us the best of global fashion recycling now. With an experienced connoisseurs eye Brown selects brands and individuals that all contribute in significant ways to this growing ambition - for an industry that is less wasteful and more creative with its use of resources.

We need more designers working with reclaimed materials, making fashion that is truly desirable, thus shifting the consumer’s perception that recycled fashion is not in some way as good as a garment made form virgin fibres. Brown’s book shows us that designers are beginning to lead the way now, and that producers need to take note of this growing market and invest in the systems to support it. This book helps us to see this greener future really may come true for us all - and is a must for students, aspiring designers, savvy consumers and visionary businesses alike. (Posted on 9/24/13)
A wide-ranging survey of ecofashion designers Review by Professor Sandy Black, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL.
Following on seamlessly from her Eco Fashion book, Sass Brown has complied a wide-ranging survey of ecofashion designers from many countries worldwide whose focus is upcyling both pre- and post-consumer textile waste, and other materials such as paper and leather, into fashionable clothing and accessories. With its foreward by US based Natalie Chanin, the book includes some of the genre's pioneers such as the UK's From Somewhere and Junky Styling, together with rising star Christopher Raeburn, plus established and emerging designers from USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. The criteria for selection are always based on fashion aesthetics as well as the processes involved, many producers' methods being craft-based small batch or one-off production. ReFashion tackles a subject now appreciated by a wider public eager for information on the complicated issues of sustainability. The book's strong visual appeal helps those keen to be responsible consumers (and makers), and the simply curious, to be both informed and inspired. (Posted on 9/9/13)
Redefines what "recycled fashion" means Review by Jasmin Malik Chua – Managing Editor Ecouterre
Sass Brown's wonderful compendium redefines what "recycled fashion" means. If that phrase brings to mind hodgepodge creations derived from candy wrappers, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Brown's book is a tour de force of the groundbreaking work being pioneered by designers across the globe, from bold-face names like Christopher Raeburn and From Somewhere to emerging talents such as Clare Bare, Tamara Fogle, and Jeffrey Wang. Her curated sampling shows the tremendous potential of landfill-bound textile waste as a sustainable resource for the fashion industry, whether it's avant-garde works of wearable art or more versatile pieces destined for the high street.  (Posted on 7/1/13)
Highly recommended Review by Aaron Bolte Creative Director – The Future Fashion Guide
Is there anything genuinely new in fashion these days? For sure, if you look a little closer! ReFashioned portrays a young genre in fashion design that emerged from progressive minds using unconventional techniques and shifting perspectives.

ReFashioned introduces a style completely of its own, along with intelligent solutions for today's challenges in sustainability.

While you are reading this, billions of tons of (worn-out and new) clothing is wasted every year and dumped into landfills with a rising frequency. In one of the largest industries on the planet, some fashion designers have the guts to phrase an answer to this issue and create what they call 'upcycled fashion'. Used and unused clothes are rescued from the trash, disassembled and reassembled again, transforming them into supreme high fashion that impresses with unseen textures and authentic character.

After the successful title 'Eco Fashion', this is the second book by renowned fashion designer and Assistant Dean at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Sass Brown, which we highly recommend.

Sass takes us on an astonishing and intimate journey through many one-of-a-kind collections from upcycling designers around the globe who are not only pioneers in design, but also thought leaders in sustainability.
(Posted on 6/5/13)
An expertly selected collection Review by Sarah Ditty – the Ethical Fashion Forum
Re-Fashioned is not just about reimagining and reinventing materials but the reinvention of the fashion industry as a whole towards a more sustainable and beautiful world - proving that good design doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Sass Brown’s visceral book showcases an expertly selected collection of talented fashion designers that are transforming disused materials into expertly crafted, forward-thinking, functional, intelligent, inspirational and aesthetically appealing garments and accessories.

Re-fashioned is a must read for anyone interested in the future of fashion.
(Posted on 6/4/13)
A Visual Treat Review by Amy DuFault - Sustainable Fashion Journalist and Consultant
From Brooklyn's indie designers to sustainable couture houses worldwide, Sass gives her readers a visual treat in Refashioned, showing how fashion done right (and very, very well), for people and planet can look. Modern silhouettes meet heritage, Bauhaus shakes the hand of the modern day poet/designer and the idea of reuse is everything we hoped an artisan could transform it into. Each page is truly a treasure to turn to and be inspired by.

While Sass once again proves that eco fashion is everything sophisticated and well thought out, one is grateful that she has made a second book demonstrating the ultimate expression of the ucpcyled slow-fashion movement, and that it is very much alive and growing
(Posted on 6/4/13)
Inspiring Review by Lewis B. Perkins, Senior Vice President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Sass Brown has done it again with ReFashioned. Her overview of innovations in textile and apparel is not only inspiring, but educational for those of us working in / or passionate about material use. In order to continue making products for our planet, all designer, brands and manufacturers will need to rethink the way we create - looking at all aspects of material selection and product design. Brown’s featured collections provide designers of all types of products, not only apparel, with a fresh eye toward material reutilization. Visually delightful, ReFashioned is an anthology of creativity and innovation for the next generation of fashion change-agents. (Posted on 6/3/13)
A fascinating and attentive journey of discovery Review by Giusi Bettoni, Founder and Creative Director of C.L.A.S.S. (Creative Lifestyle and Sustainable Synergy)
Sass Brown conducts a wonderful new concerto from real stories of fashion excellence, proving how this new dimension of responsibility has finally been integrated into fashion, without the loss of the precious DNA of beauty, design, innovation, research, appeal and originality. Brown's book is a fascinating and attentive journey of discovery from around the world, telling inspirational stories that set a new milestone in contemporary cutting edge fashion. (Posted on 6/3/13)
Shows us that the future is good, experimental and - if not bright - at least possible. Review by Paolo Ferrarini, Future Concept Lab s.r.l.
Re-Fashioned is the demonstration of two things. First: sustainability (whatever it may be) is not a mere communication trend, but a solid production reality. It’s not avant-garde, but a mass phenomenon, loved (and shared) by a large portion of the style lovers. It’s not ideological ugliness (good but sad) but programmed beauty (good thus nice).

Second: abundance is never enough, we always want more, but we do need to have the chance to choose. Being able to select is necessary not only in the field of information, but also in the realm of products. Upcycled and recycled garments are a necessity today. Not because it “ethically correct”, but because it’s fundamental to selects stuff in the same way we select informations.

To recover and to reload is not nostalgia, but a drive towards future: the post-modernist idea of the “endless new” is clearly dead, and Sass Brown’s book show us that the future is good, experimental and - if not bright - at least possible. (Posted on 6/3/13)

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Foreword by Natalie Chanin (Founder of Alabama Chanin, US hand made clothing and homewares)


Chapter One
Designers Working with Used Clothing (e.g. worn and discarded garments) or
Used Industrial Materials (e.g. defunct flour sacks)
Opening Text
2ETN (jewellery) [US]; Artemas Quibble (bags / jewellery) [US]
Atelier Awash [Germany]; CeeBee (bags / jewellery) [Italy]
Christopher Raeburn [UK]; Clare Bare (lingerie) [US]
Dalaleo (bags / jewellery)    [Brazil / Italy]; Denham [Netherlands]
Jeffrey Wang [China]; Julia Barbee [US]
Junky Styling [UK]; km/a [Austria]; KONDAKIS [Kenya]
Lu Flux [UK]; MAYER Peace Collection [Germany]
MILCH [Austria]; Nudie Jeans [Sweden]
Odette Picaud (jewellery / accessories) [France]
Otra (jewellery) [Canada / France]
Raggedy     [UK]; Saisei (bags) [Italy]
Schmidt Takahashi  [Germany]; Silent People (bags) [Italy]
Sylwia Rochala [Poland]; Tamara Fogle (bags) [UK]
The BEA Project [US]; Trashed Couture    [UK]
Ute Decker (jewellery) [UK / Germany]

Chapter Two
Designers Working with Unused Clothing Waste (e.g. textile cut-offs) or Unused Industrial Materials (e.g. plastic product scraps created during the manufacturing process)
Opening Text
Carmina Campus (bags) [Italy / Africa]
Eva Zingoni [France]; Friends with Benefits [US]
From Somewhere  [UK]; Goodone [UK]
Hibrida (accessories) [Chile]; Juana Diaz [Chile]
Kerry Howley (jewellery) [UK]
Michelle Lowe-Holder (jewellery) [UK]
Paulina Plizga [France]; Piece x Piece [US]
Rachel Freire [UK]; R.ds [Denmark]
Reet Aus [Estonia]; Steinwidder [Austria]
Trash-Couture [Denmark]; Waste Away (accessories)    [UK]


Further Reading
Designers’ Websites
Picture Credits and Acknowledgements

'Refashioned', the second book from Sass Brown arrives as designers and consumers are grappling with a global scarcity of natural fibres all the while millions of tonnes of clothing are ending up in landfills each year. Once again, Brown is ahead of the curve as "Refashioned" showcases designers around the world who have incorporated textile and resource scarcity into their design and are using existing materials (both used and unused) in the creation of innovative, avant-garde fashion. This book is a must-read for everyone who loves fashion but tires of the disposable, wasteful fashion of our times.

Kate Black, Founder and Editor-in-Chief Magnifeco


Sass Brown’s second book ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials is a beautiful and palatable compilation of 46 international designers showcasing reinvigorated fashions from the idiosyncratic to the everyday wardrobe staple.  Sass’s in-depth design acumen combined with her passion for ethical fashion, lace pages that are as heartily aesthetic, as they are content rich.  The book beautifully encapsulates a pioneering time in the ever-evolving fashion industry.  

Coco Eco Magazine


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