With around 350,000 tonnes of discarded clothing going into UK landfill each year, Zero Waste Scotland established a competition to commission designers to take waste materials and discarded clothes and use them to create something new, on-trend and wearable.
Aimee Kent was one of the two lucky winning brands selected by the Salvation Army Trading Company, Zero Waste Scotland and Love Your Clothes to create a stunning collection of ready to wear garments made entirely from recycled, post-consumer clothing and fabrics.
The project hopes to raise awareness of the impact of textile waste, and encourage people to love and reuse their clothes instead of discarding them. Aimee was attracted to this project as she wished to further explore the re-working of postconsumer clothing and textiles, turning them into something desirable and sellable. Having previously worked with recycled fabrics and factory offcuts, this project has enabled her to take her previous experience in this area to a new level and further develop her skills in up-cycling materials, whilst working with organisations such as the Salvation Army and local/regional recycling centres.
The resulting collection is made up of 12 unique pieces which are now available to buy directly from the new website shop here: http://aimeekent.com/shop/
Our collection was inspired by the stunning and unusual art deco architectural facades of the Salvation Army’s New York headquarters, and old school Salvation Army logos and graphic artwork. Using inspiration from the unique art deco features; hand drawn images were created, thus producing bold and intricate repeat and placement prints to be applied to the recycled fabric for a complete transformation.
During the manufacturing process we faced many challenges due to the limited amount of usable fabric surface area, a few of our garments are therefore patch-worked in a quirky way, for example our culottes were created from a denim shirt and a silk shirt which we hand dyed and our two-piece colour blocked dress was created from sections of men’s polo shirts and t-shirts. These challenges have reflected well in all our pieces as we haven’t just simply upcycled but in fact problem solved to create new pieces from scratch, from initial research and design concept to pattern cutting and finished items. We feel we have truly taken this challenge head on and worked very hard to completely redesign discarded clothing and textiles (otherwise destined for landfill or recycled cleaning rags for cars) and we believe the end result has been very successful!
Aimee’s favourite items from the collection include our Orange Flared Sleeved Copper Foil Print Top made from cotton and silk which was once the lining fabric of a rather dated and unattractive floaty summer hippyish top and panels from a men’s work shirt!
And our favourite, the Modular Salvation Eagle Print Dress with Removable Waistcoat…
We took product shots of each item for the new website, and we did a mini editorial fashion shoot in local Queen’s park in the south side of Glasgow, taking full advantage of the nice Scottish weather!
The editorial photographs are courtesy of fantastic, emerging photographer Francesca Morrison. For more images of her fantastic work check out her website here http://www.fm-equine.com/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fmfashionphotos/.
We couldn’t have created this collection without the help of our fantastic team; Design Assistant Amy Forbes, PR & Marketing Assistant Kieran Hamilton, Photographers: Francesca Morrison (editorial photography) & Elie Harerimana (product photography), Pattern Cutting & Manufacturer Assistant Joy Harper and of course all the lovely people at Love Your Clothes, Zero Waste Scotland and the Salvation Army Trading Company.
We are delighted to announce that 25% of all sales profit on our Aimee Kent x Salvation Army x Love Your Clothes collection will go towards the Salvation Army Trading Company’s charitable projects. Throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland, the charity runs projects including homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents and support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales, as well as local community support and activity groups.
Shop the collection here