Since when has it been a trend?
The sustainability impulse has been around since the 1980s. In recent years, the trend has become increasingly widespread with debates about recycling and the second-hand idea.
How did you personally become involved with the concept?
I worked with the London designer Orsola de Castro. She’s a pioneer in the field of upcycling and works with industrial scraps from Italian weaving and knitting mills. I really liked her products; they’re not at all hippie-ish or frumpy.
What do you use for upcycling?
From cuts of fabric that retailers use to present colours or materials. These cuts of fabric are just disposed of, although they’re 40 by 60 metres in size. I buy them and make shirts and blouses out of them.
In upcycling, designers imagine a new use for a used product.
Where do your ideas come from?
We fall in love with materials and think up a new context for them. A colleague of mine, for instance, wanted the work clothing of car mechanics or painters because the quality of the material is so high. He uses it to create bespoke suits. From originals he takes apart trousers and jackets and fashions them into new pieces. The suits look very refined, but also have a great used look.