Upcycling & the Modern Hippie
With the 50 year anniversary of the Summer of Love in full swing, late 1960s styles have taken San Francisco by storm. Perhaps we are feeling it more in San Francisco than in the rest of the country because it was the epicenter for all of the action. Countless boutiques have created Summer of Love collections and have started carrying vintage items that harken back to the dreamy aspects of the 60s era, filled with tie-dye shirts and embroidered denim. The fashion aesthetic of the 1960s and early 1970s opened the doors to our modern upcycling movement. Methods that started as ways to express individuality have been adopted by people trying to revive the mass of unused clothing that would otherwise end up in landfills. Patchwork and embroidery are some of the most common methods that are used to upcycle.
This revitalization is about more than just the aesthetic of the movement; it is truly about the continuation of the environmental movement that draws its roots from the same time period. One of the chief points of activism during the 1960’s, the environmental movement focused its attention on the mass amount of water and air pollution being caused by chemicals such as DDT. The reflection of the hippie aesthetic in upcycled clothing also offers a reflection on the industry that creates the second largest amount of pollution, the fashion industry. Upcycled fashion allows us to embrace the hippie movement as a whole and bring activism into fashion.
You might want to try embroidery or patchwork yourself but if you want some upcycled inspiration check out these amazing brands.
Although her etsy only currently has hoops and embroidered wall hangings, Tessa Perlow’s instagram provides ample embroidery inspiration. She is largely known for her use of detailed embroidery to upcycle old shirts.
AndAgain creates newly styled denim out of vintage jeans. They offer a range of styles, or let you personalize your own. You can also send them your old jeans to work with and they will restyle them for you at a discounted price.
Julia Kordyukova creates upcycled backpacks and clothing out of recycled leather, denim and wool. she hopes to bring light the pollution caused by the fashion industry with her elegant upcycled designs. She will also upcycle an old jacket or item of clothing into a new piece you will love.
Wolf and Lamb:
Based in LA, Wolf and Lamb finds old vintage leather jackets whose styles are out of date and reworks them into modern one-of-a-kind leather jackets. Their styles are fun and playful but definitely run at a higher price point.