South African designers are up-cycling fashion waste 

Photo: (c) REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Khumo Morojele and Klein Muis are two up-and-coming fashion designers from Johannesburg, South Africa who hunt through piles of clothes at a second-hand street market. The fashion waste has been imported from European countries and is resold in huge bales at this market downtown. The pair look for fashion items that they can up-cycle into clothing or accessories which have a unique African style.

The term “up-cycling” refers to the reuse of an object in a new or different way without degrading the original material. This is different to recycling where the original material is broken down to be used for something else.

Their joint project is called “Dunusa: Life of a Garment”, where avant-garde and abstract fashion is created through deconstruction and reworking from their second-hand finds. Their collection was exhibited in Berlin from 14-16 July at the international arts programme called “Forecast Forum”. Young artists receive mentorship through the programme.

Their project highlights how African countries become dumping grounds for secondhand clothes from Europe and the up-cycled clothes then make their way back from the South to the North through up-cycled fashion. They have collaborated with other African fashion designers, like a Ghanaian shoemaker, where they transform old soccer boots into sandals that reflect both the African and European love for football.

Photo: (c) REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo


Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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