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by Marilyn R Wilson

EFWA Upcycling Challenge 2018 by Marilyn R Wilson and Dalija Vlahov

The Upcycling Challenge provides an opportunity for sustainable designers to gain international attention, and to encourage designers who are currently not using sustainable practices to give it a try. The Challenge also promotes EFWA’s mandate to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle garments rather than have them sent to a landfill.

The call for submissions went out earlier this year, and designers from around the world were asked to create one unique look using men’s shirts. 

We are thrilled to announce those who have stepped up for the challenge!

In alphabetical order are Andrew Carpenter of Papa Drew (Brisbane) &  Athon Jon (Queensland), Australia; Aanne Ruggieri, Melbourne, Australia; Aroha Langley, Melbourne, Australia; Carmel Ryan, Alice Springs, Australia; Denise Anglesey, New Zealand; Gigi Forget, Canada; Jane Ziemons, West Perth, Australia; Janine McAughren, Victoria, Canada; Kathryn Davis, Sydney, Australia; Kiri Steele, Armidale, Australia; Marcia Hobbs, Adelaide, Australia; Regina Bochat, Perth, Australia; and Tracey Kim, Melvillle, Australia.

Read more about each of the designers below.

ANDREW CARPENTER of Papa Drew (Brisbane, Australia) & ATHAN JON a.k.a Jonathan Pampling (Queensland, Australia):

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About Papa Drew:  Andrew Carpenter is the name behind the “papa drew” label.  With the intention of creating awareness, encouraging and educating people about the human and environmental cost of fast fashion, Andrew is currently selling a range of men’s shirts crafted from upcycled fabrics. His motto is Reclaim, Reimagine and Repurpose. The Papa Drew label encompasses three fields, Photography, Fabric and Fashion, being able to combine his passions under one banner. Andrew spent his early years as an industrial cutter in a shirt factory, learning everything from mass production to one off samples in work wear and uniforms. .

About Johnathan Pampling: A sustainable fashion costume designer, Jonathon's techniques involve hand sewing and no electricity to create designs that are also ethical, green and eco-friendly. With a high focus on recycle and upcycle practices. A 16+ background in fashion Jonathan creates collections for fashion shows, styling for bands, photo shoots and costuming for film. Jonathan prides himself as a Futurist and an environmentalist. He sees his creations as a way to "candy wrap" environmental, spiritual and social issues.

Studied at: Andrew has studied at TAFE in fashion illustration, sewing and textile awareness. He has also undertaken some short sewing courses.  Jonathan studied at Ithaca TAFE in 2001 after 5months of study to pursue a retail fashion collection, harnessing his craft with self-taught techniques and working as a tailor in Brisbane city to help master.

Interview Papa Drew - Click HERE

Interview Jonathan Pampling - Click HERE

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Anne Ruggieri of KOLIBRI (Melbourne, Australia)

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About: KOLIBRI is a sustainable high fashion women swear brand specialising in upcycled materials.  The brand has an obsession with restoring/transforming old and unwanted items, along with a fervent passion for saving the environment. Kolibri’s style celebrates female beauty through voluminous, artisanal and organic silhouettes. The designer behind Kolibri, Anne Ruggieri, hopes that her work alters the current perspective on second hand materials, with an ultimate mission to reverse the fashion industry’s linear system into a more circular progression.

Studied at: Currently studying at The Masters of Creative Education, Melbourne. Anne is in her final year (Bachelor of Fashion and Business).

Interview - Click HERE!

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Aroha Langley (Melbourne, Australia)


About: Aroha Langley is an emerging sustainable streetwear designer from Melbourne, Australia. Her designs explore the relationship between modest silhouettes, differing textures and traditional cultural elements. As an advocate for slow fashion, Aroha utilises fibres and textiles that are environmentally conscious and ethically aware. Aroha will continue to utilise her platform in the industry to raise awareness of the devastating effects fashion has on the environment and offer ways to possibly counteract them.

Studied at: NZ Fashion Tech, New Zealand (Fashion Technology). Currently studying at the Melbourne Fashion Institute, Australia (Advanced Diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising)

Interview - Click HERE!

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Carmel Ryan (Alice Springs, Australia)

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About:  With over 50 years sewing experience, including costume design and construction for stage and theatre, ballet, hair show and fashion productions, Carmel's passion now lies with Wearable Art. She is a multi award winner across all categories in Alice Springs and has had garments in the past 3 showcases at Wearable Art Mandurah. She is also a designing and admin member of Sustainable Couture, Alice Springs a group of textile artists making new fashion from recycled and repurposed material Her commissions include up cycling bridal wear adding handmade embellishments, vintage lace and hand beading to create unique bespoke couture for her clients.

Studied at: While Carmel is self taught, she first studied under the guidance of her mother and grandmother, both tailors by trade with some formal training in pattern drafting,

Interview - Click HERE!

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Denise Anglesey of Denise H and Founder of NZ Eco Fashion Week (Wainuiomata, New Zealand)

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About: Denise is a self taught  Eco Fashion Designer, who started designing up cycled "One of a Kind" fashions in 2008, taking discarded fabrics, denim and clothing and up cycling them into unique one of a kind designs".  In designing her fashion range, Denise uses waste materials from factories, thrift stores, garage sales and donations.  She re-uses these fabrics and garments to make new "One of a Kind" fashion clothing.   "My aim is to be kind to the environment with my business practices and to make sure that I purchase new materials required from sources where people do not suffer in the production process".  Denise H has a zero waste policy. 

Studied at: Self taught designer, entrepreneur and founder of NZ Eco Fashion Week

Interview: Click HERE!

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Gigi Forget of Salvij by Gigi (Yellowknife, Canada)

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About: Organic, colourful, To start with, I am an empath so most of my creativity stems from recognizing the injustices in our society and my resulting passion for betterment and positive change. This line I am building will be highlighting the concept of 'Till Death Do Us Part'. The theme challenges us to ponder the idea that most man-made fabrics will outlast their users by a minimum of 30 years. By taking the initiative to reclaim some of the clothes from the pipeline of "warehouse to wasteyard", we are shortening the lifespan of the fabric that would otherwise be thrown out as trash and end up polluting the environment.

Studied at: Vancouver College of Arts and Design and a lot was self taught. As a young girl, I loved drawing, embroidering or painting on my clothes. Here in Yellowknife, I did a stint of stenciling onto glassware and styling with thin line.

InterviewClick HERE!

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Jane Ziemons of Melaleuca Rise (West Perth, Australia)

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About: Jane Ziemons is a multidisciplinary artist and teacher who creates clothing, textiles and prints that give us the opportunity to slow down and think about the life we choose to live. She works with projects from the tiniest of holes to be mended to entire collections for performance. 

Studied at: Edith Cowan University

Interview - Click HERE!

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Janine McAughren of Ghren (Victoria, Canada)

About: Janine McAughren has been sewing and designing since she was 11 years old. She was born and raised on Vancouver Island, and is inspired by the natural, west coast vibes. She is the creator and designer for Ghren, a contemporary, upcycled clothing line for eco-conscious women. Ghren’s newest collection is based off of upcycling; taking old clothing and giving it a new, extraordinary life. Ghren’s premiere collection, Indigo Shores was hand dyed with natural indigo. It was inspired by the fluidity of the ocean, and the hard angles of origami folds.

Studied at: McAughren spent 4 years at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the Fashion Design & Technology program, graduating in June 2017. Ghren was created as a thesis project for McAughren’s final year at KPU, then completed shortly after graduation

Interview - Click HERE!

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Kathryn Davis of The Possibility Project (Sydney, Australia)

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About:  Kathryn Davis trained as a milliner in London, she draws inspiration from working directly with people who live and work in slum conditions in Jaipur, there is a deep sense of worthiness within these slums that Kathryn wishes to bring to the wearer of her designs. slumwear108 is possibility materialized, made through a combination of vocational training projects and small scale manufacturing, our clothing is designed to show the worth within perceived failure. We apply a mindset of common sense to recycled silk saris and fabric deadstock, each slumwear108 piece tells the stories of its makers, our creative commonalities and how to use these to bring restorative justice back into fashion.

Interview - Click HERE!

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Marcia Hobbs of Barbwire Noose® (Adelaide, Australia)

About:  Barbwire Noose® was established into business in 2009 whilst Marcia worked a Real Estate Sales Role at G.J.Gardner homes under professional Geoff Thompson. Trademarked in 2005 Barbwire Noose® and slogan Fear Is The Root Of All Weakness® define the Lifestyle Empowerment brand Strongly supporting organizations with the same objective of contributing to 'A Better World'. It is associated with organizations such as Animals Australia, World Kindness Australia, World Wildlife Fund.

Studied at: Marcia's formal qualifications are academically based studying her MBA at the Australian Institute of Business and in the process of completing a Cert II in Fashion Design.

Interview - Click HERE

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Matilda Janosi of TildArt Eco Luxury (London, UK)

 Photos on left by Kris J Photography - Photo on right by eXposed

Photos on left by Kris J Photography - Photo on right by eXposed

About:  Fashion designer Matilda Janosi combines recycled materials with high quality luxury materials to create a unique “Eco Luxury” style. Matilda was born and grew up in Transylvania where recycling is a way of life.  It is this ethos, combined with her talent as a fashion designer, that has driven her to create unique fashion products using recycled materials.  In the beginning, one of the main materials she used was recycled bicycle inner tube, but her work has now expanded to include upcycled textiles. All of Matilda’s items are handmade in the TildArt Studio in Hackney, London and all materials are sourced in the UK.

Studied at:   London College of Fashion where she trained under Lucy Barlow.

Interview - Click HERE!

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Regina Bochat (Perth, Australia)


About:  Regina Bochat is inspired by the natural world around her in Western Australia, as well as memories of growing up in this beautiful part of the world. She is passionate about environmental conservation and reducing the destructive nature of fashion traditionally. She is inspired equally by the craft of making garments as well as the skill and concepts of design. Her garments are for women who care about our planet, like clothes to have meaning, and who love to express themselves through the joyous medium that is fashion.

Studied at: Currently studying at Edith Cowan University - Mount Lawley Campus in Perth, Western Australia

Interview - Click HERE!

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Tracy Kim of Trixed Up (Perth, Australia)

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About:   Tracy Kim of Trixed Up is a stay at home mum with a passion for op-shopping and handmade fashion. She creates individual pieces from her home based studio with a particular emphasis on refashioning op-shop finds. She is passionate about upcycling as a way of giving old things a new life, stemming from a sense of wanting individuality that fast fashion doesn’t allow and to be environmentally conscious. Tracy is inspired by the fabrics of the clothes and transforms them into something that is current or classic. She is working on building her brand to share with those that are equally environmentally conscious.

Studied at:  Tracy studied a Bachelor of Arts in English and History with a Creative Writing Minor from Murdoch University. She is largely self taught, with her mum guiding her the first few lessons 12 years ago. After that she moved onto other projects and has learnt by sewing.

Interview - Click HERE!

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