Upcycling in retail is adding another life cycle to things. To put it simply, it means altering old clothes into new, designer style. Old fabric is processed so that it looks like new, ready for making new clothes. Each thing is made according to its own design. However, the Ukrainian society is quite biased towards such “used ” clothes, and people are not willing to pay for what they believe to have been used. This was stated by the owners of Re-cycling and Upcycling brands during a briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Our brand is a social experiment; we do not resort to any marketing steps. In Ukraine, shops are interested in selling the brands, but they do not talk about the idea. How else can we bring the idea to the public?” said Natalia Tatarchuk, owner of the brand RUN/Met_Energy.
The main purpose of these brands is environmental approach to nature. “When we learnt what is happening in the world, what environmental disaster textiles provoke, how much garbage is thrown away, we decided to go for responsible fashion. But showrooms do not talk about it for fear of losing customers,” explained Anna Teslo, Rehash designer.
The brands buy old things in secondhand shops and other places, but customers can come with their things as well. “We buy 50% in secondhand shops and websites, but now customers have become more active and bring their things for us to alter them into backpacks,” said Yulia Kordiukova, UliUlia designer. “Upcycling things do not have to be scratched or seamed. When you look at the clothes, usually you cannot guess that they are recycled,” she added.