In recent years, the fashion industry has been increasingly scrutinized for its environmental impact and labor practices. As a result, many consumers are turning to sustainable fashion options, including upcycled and reworked clothing. Upcycling is a creative and sustainable response to the industry’s growing waste crisis. Independent designers are leading the way in this movement, repurposing old garments into covetable, one-of-a-kind items that promote body positivity and environmental sustainability. We’ll highlight 25 of the best independent upcycled fashion brands and designers, each with their own unique style and ethos.
Zero Waste Daniel
Categories: Dresses, Sweatshirts, T-Shirts, Joggers, Bags
Materials: Scrap Fabrics, Textile Waste
Price Range: $100-$500
Daniel is a New York based clothing designer and zero-waste lifestyle pioneer who creates genderless clothing and accessories using pre-consumer waste from the garment industry and other hard-to-recycle materials. He gained worldwide attention in 2017 and continues to inspire change and redefine sustainable design through his mission of ending waste culture. His work has been featured in global publications and media outlets such as CNN, BBC, Vogue, and Forbes. His brand emphasizes fair and ethical production, while also promoting body positivity and environmental sustainability.
Categories: Accessories, Tops, Outerwear, Kimonos, Robes, Bottoms
Materials: Denim, Tapestry, Blankets
Price Range: $50 – $300
Lizard Queenz is a sustainable fashion brand founded by Lauren Isabella, inspired by 70s rock n’ roll style. Their offerings include vintage, upcycled, handmade, and small-batch goods that cater to a range of sizes and genders. The brand aims to embody a refined rockstar lifestyle while capturing the androgynous fashion of the era, promoting a carefree and sustainable psychedelia.
Categories: Outerwear, Pants, Crop Tops,
Materials: Blankets, Tapestry, Crochet
Price Range: $70 – $200
Bohemian Scrapcity is a handmade clothing brand based in Aurora, Colorado. Created by Emily, the brand was inspired by a friend’s coat at a concert, which led her to learn how to sew and create her own version. With a focus on sustainability, Bohemian Scrapcity uses as many recycled materials as possible in their unique, one-of-a-kind and limited series offerings. The brand caters to eco-conscious consumers who are looking for an alternative to fast fashion.
Categories: Outerwear, Dresses, Accessories, Unisex
Materials: Bandanas, Scrap Fabric, Blankets, Vintage Clothing
Price Range: $50 – $400
Psychic Outlaw is a small team of creatives based in Austin, Texas, specializing in creating sustainable, handmade clothing using recycled vintage and antique textiles. The brand was founded in 2019 by Rebecca Wright, who has had a lifelong obsession with buying and creating unique clothing. She uses really unique fabrics such as sleeping bags to create a one-of-a-kind Hello Kitty tracksuit.
Categories: High Fashion, Blazers, Experimental Garments
Materials: Vintage garments
Price Range: $500+
1/OFF (not to be confused with OFF-WHITE) is a fashion label that upcycles high-end vintage garments into one-of-a-kind contemporary pieces. Their skilled couture makers transform sourced vintage items from around the world while respecting the quality and craftsmanship of the original pieces. The label aims to extend the lifespan of fashion items by adding individuality and keeping them relevant for new generations. Their unique designs connect the past with the future and combine historical consciousness with open innovation.
The Topian Den
Categories: Women’s Dresses and Smocks
Materials: Denim, Crochet
Price Range: $150-$350
This designer creates eco-friendly clothing, bags, and accessories that feature appliqué art made from leftover fabric to minimize waste. Inspired by the landscapes of South West Wales and a love for folk art, folklore, and whimsical themes, they transform ordinary items into unique and extraordinary wearable and usable art.
Categories: High Fashion, Ultra Luxury, Womens Outerwear and Skirts
Materials: Vintage, Fabric Scraps
Price Range: $200-$1,000+
Stockholm Based Fashion Label specializing in one-of-one reworked pieces. Rave Review aims to make the wearer feel empowered and strong through their designs. They have a feminist agenda which is reflected in their casting and designs. They promote strong individuals and want to underline the wearer’s attitude through their garments. The clothes are meant to be noticed and unapologetic in order to help empower women and encourage them to take up more space and be hear
Categories: Outerwear, Pants, Unisex
Materials: Blankets, Quilts, Denim
Price Range: $150-$250
Vivid Visions is an upcycled clothing designer who creates unique pieces using blankets and quilts to make outerwear and pants. The brand specializes in giving new life to vintage fabrics and materials, turning them into one-of-a-kind garments that are both eco-friendly and fashionable.
Categories: Outerwear, Hoodies, Pants
Materials: Blankets, Curtains, Quilts
Price Range: $100 – $350
Alexander Zdroyevski is a Buffalo, New York-based designer who specializes in upcycling old clothing and fabrics like blankets and tablecloths. His designs are both sustainable and unique. He constantly experiments with new materials including repurposing a shower curtain into pants.
Categories: Unisex Tops and Pants
Materials: Thrifted Clothing, Denim
Price Range: $40 – $150
Quixotica is a designer who creates unique and sustainable fashion pieces. One example of their work is a T-shirt made from ten different materials, including cotton jersey tees, silk, and canvas curtains, with three cohesive patterned fabrics. They also make reworked jeans that feature hand-embroidered and vintage patches, distressed peace signs, and symbols of peace and death throughout.
Categories: Hoodies, Pants
Materials: Thrifted Clothing
Price Range: $100-$200
Run by Creative Kid Nate from Texas, these designs have a more streetwear feel. Inventory is sometimes low, so reach out to Nate on Instagram and ask him for a custom project.
Upcycled Clothing Designers on Etsy
Upcycled Clothing Designers on Instagram
Photo Credits to all the Brands mentioned in this post.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Utopia By Cho