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INSPIRATION: FROM TRASH TO TREASURE - THE BEAUTY OF UPCYCLED FASHION

INSPIRATION: FROM TRASH TO TREASURE - THE BEAUTY OF UPCYCLED FASHION

By Jennifer Wills

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We would never call a Sans Beast bag trash - even though the wordplay of trash to treasure is admittedly appealing.

However the reality is handbags get damaged + break, construction by human hands is at times imperfect, and innovation is required to turn them back into treasure + kept out of landfill. 

 

 

 

Handbags that are well-constructed from quality materials + treated with care can last a long time. When minor things go wrong, we repair everything we can - from minor stitching repairs, to reattaching screws, freshening up a loved yet scuffed bag with shoe polish + reapplying edgepaint where possible.

But what to do when a bag is no longer able to be repaired, when it's beyond rescuing? We don't give up on them + send them to landfill: we embrace the beauty of upcycled fashion.

Upcycling takes items that would otherwise be thrown away + reimagines them into something new. And rather than a limitation, a focus on sustainable practices + using existing materials in a new way inspires more creative solutions.

We started small with upcycling + continue to grow our projects to match our ambitious goals. Here's our upcycled fashion journey so far.

 

 

Reconfiguration

In October 2022 we worked with RMIT School of Fashion + Textiles on 'Reconfiguration', a project where honours students worked to deconstruct broken or faulty Sans Beast bags and transform them into works of art.

It inspired broad + bold thinking from the students to imagine + create something radically different from existing materials, and it was exciting to see such creativity from future fashion industry stars.

 

 

Fashion Revolution

We've long been fans of Into Carry, a truly innovative Melbourne manufacturing business that creates bags, glasses cases, vests + more using materials such as sneakers, promotional banners + even milk cartons. Into Carry also run classes on sewing, repairing + upcycling, teaching a keen audience something akin to the 'make do and mend' philosophy of old.

In April 2023 we handed over an assortment of broken Sans Beast bags + the team at Into Carry created two one-of-a-kind bags in their signature shape and construction. We auctioned them off on Instagram to raise funds for Fashion Revolution and received an overwhelming response.

 


Only two pieces had been created - and we were inundated with requests for more. We knew we had to make our next project with Into Carry even bigger.

 

Sans Beast X Into Carry 

Enter Melbourne Fashion Week 2023 and the launch of two Sans Beast X Into Carry workshops, teaching dozens of participants how to deconstruct bags + conceptualise their own bespoke pouch made from Sans Beast materials.

Attendees mixed fabric, straps + hardware from a variety of broken Sans Beast bags to create their own designs on Into Carry's template - and after sewing was completed at Into Carry, these beauties were ready for a new home. It was two huge sessions of creative energy + we're eager for more.

 

We'll continue to expand our upcycling projects in future seasons, inspired + driven by the recognition that 'throwing away' simply means moving something from place to place - there is no 'away'.

There is only what we have produced + the responsibility to keep using it, in one form or another.

 

XO,

Studio Sans Beast

 

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