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Barbara I Gongini

Fashion Upcycling _ An avant-garde view

Frederik Daugberg is one of the students from KEA - Copenhagen School of Design and Technology that Barbara I Gongini took under her mentorship.


With Barbara’s guidance, Frederik worked on a CSR project where he researched the Upcycling/Recycling and Second Life movements.


The Upcycling Concept


Part of sustainable fashion, upcycling - or the second life movement - is the other facet of the recycling process, as opposed to downcycling. Downcycling means using textile waste and existing clothing as base materials to make new garments of lesser quality, while upcycling aims to make ones that are better than the original. The goal of this recycling process is to take “unwanted” clothes out of the waste cycle.


Upcycling uses either pre-consumer waste, post-consumer waste, or both. The former takes place while the product is manufactured using leftover pieces, while post-consumer waste means using garments that the user doesn’t need or want anymore, or have defects.


The process involves finding creative ways to reuse textiles, usually resulting in one-of-a-kind items. These new designs stir controversy in the fashion industry because they challenge perceptions as to what is trash and what is fashion.


Frederik tried to capture this upcycled fashion philosophy within his CSR project by reinterpreting archive styles with repurposing as an end goal.


He created a series of three different pieces, a shirt, a shirt tunic, and a shirt dress, using waste fabric from previous production processes. The designs combined textiles from various lots and with different compositions to comply with the project brief, but he had to keep in mind the original garment and its characteristics.


The shirts feature pleaded elements that have been carefully crafted, proportioned, and built into the style so that they inspire a playful perception, yet vague enough to invite the wearer to define it themselves.


Upcycled Fashion 1


Upcycled Fashion 2



Upcycled Fashion 5


Upcycled Fashion 4


Upcycled Fashion 3


Upcycled Fashion 6


Upcycled Fashion 7


Discover more BARBARA I GONGINI's sustainable avant-garde collections here.

DESIGNER/INTERNFrederik Daugbert

IMAGEJ. Illa Bonany

STYLINGNadja Striib

MODELINGMagnus Villemoes, Konrad Worning Eilenberger