By taking those waste products, the team at Upmade, headed by Reet Aus, are able to create a shirt at a minimal cost to the environment.
The project is an interesting one, as it actually relies on fast-fashion to exist - it just recognises that there is an issue with the inordinate amounts of waste created by fast-fashion factories and suppliers. By taking the waste into their own hands, they are creating brand new shirts by simply altering stitching patterns of the typical tshirt.
Instead of growing and creating new cotton, by relying on waste products from garment factories the water usage of the shirts is kept to a minimum. In addition, energy used in creating the shirts and the CO2 produced is minimal too. In fact, some of the Up-Shirt designs use up to 93% less energy, and produce 89% less carbon than that of your typical tshirt.
Reet Aus has plenty of experience in sustainable and ethical fashion, as she has been producing upcycled collections for years. She has also completed a PhD in sustainable fashion design, which first linked her to Beximco and the idea for the Up-Shirt started to gain shape.
Whilst the Up-Shirt seems like a simple and novel way of using mass-produced waste, what I also see is a team that's wanting to change the practices of the fast-fashion industry. A much bigger goal, but with the mountains of waste products created during garment creation, it is certainly a noble one.