We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Broken Ghost Clothing #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Broken Ghost Clothing
We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Rentrayage #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Rentrayage
We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Paneros #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Paneros

12 Upcycled Clothing Brands Making Dreamy Deadstock Duds


We love preloved, which is why we think upcycled clothing should be next on the reused runway.

While buying used clothes via online thrift stores is a solid way to ensure your style stays eco and fresh, sometimes you need something new.

That’s where upcycled clothing companies come into play.

Say what?

You can learn what’s up(cycling) with the concept at the bottom of the article, but for now, know that it’s basically “new” clothing made from old clothing and landfill-bound fabric.

Think of it as re-style-cling.

When it comes to the best upcycled clothing brands, we’re in eros with Paneros and their elegant designs, which you’d never guess are made from deadstock.

Fanfare Label is an upcycled UK clothing brand using unwanted offcuts from the fashion industry to create unique, limited runs.

To support small and cyclical, Etsy shop Broken Ghost Clothing offers an upcycled clothing boutique that embodies upbeat and bespoke.

*This post contains affiliate links

1. PANEROS

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Paneros #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Paneros

About Paneros

Paneros says, “Each of our pieces are wearable art, just like you.”

Not only are they one of our favorite Tencel clothing brands, but they also specialize in some of the best upcycled clothing.

From the Greek words “pan” and “eros”, each of these elegant women’s dresses, tops, bottoms, sweaters, and suits embody what it means to “love all”. 

Many garments blend deadstock and natural fibers, but their iconic Hawaiian shirts are made of 100% upcycled silk.

Paneros’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices:

Materials:

Each upcycled bohemian clothing piece features luxury deadstock fabrics, which account for the synthetics in their product line.

These are sometimes combined with virgin natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and TENCEL lyocell.

All are OEKO-TEX certified and naturally dyed (if needed at all).

Supply chain & labor practices:

All women’s upcycled clothing begins in LA, for deadstock sourcing, dyeing (if necessary), and designing.

From there, the fabric moves to a WRAP-certified factory in Indonesia for final sewing.

Green business practices:

Like many clothing companies who upcycle, Paneros handcrafts in small batches. But unlike others, theirs are really small—60 pieces or fewer—so everything is limited edition.

Scraps that are too small to become anything else become scrunchies.

They ship in 100% recycled polyethylene mailers, with a dual adhesive strip for reuse. Tissue paper and hang tags are also recycled.

Inclusivity:

Sizes range XS-XL (US 2-12). 

Community & charitable giving:

As 1% for the Planet members they donate at least 1% to environmental organizations, but that’s not the end of their charitable endeavors.

They also donate to social justice organizations like the ACLU—10% of profits in past years.

Available: Paneros


2. RENTRAYAGE

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Rentrayage #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Rentrayage

About Rentrayage

Have you ever dreamed of pairing an old graphic hoodie with frills and lace inserts?

That’s exactly the sort of forward-thinking upcycled fashion Rentrayage crafts.

Named after the French word meaning to “make whole again”, this female-founded upcycled clothing boutique blends everyday basics with unique, one-of-a-kind elements.

In addition to upcycled clothing, they sell select home goods and decor, like glassware and pillows, made of upcycled materials or by small, sustainable artisans.

Rentrayage’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices:

Materials:

Each piece is made from mostly or entirely vintage fabrics and deadstock garments, whether they be old button-down shirts, graphic tees, lace, denim, or accessories.

Reclaimed materials are always the first choice, but they’ll sometimes supplement with fully traceable virgin cotton, linen, silk, or wool when necessary.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Garments are handmade in Brooklyn and elsewhere in New York.

All employees are paid living wages and any third-party partner brands are vetted for fair manufacturing methods.

They currently don’t have any certifications because they don’t feel like any fit the Rentrayage model. Instead, they’re committed to charting a path through new, sustainable waters.

Green business practices:

Rentrayage prompts circularity not just through their handmade upcycled clothing, but by recycling scraps with local organization Fabscrap and offering a garment take-back program.

Shipping materials consist of recycled poly-mailers and boxes and biodegradable fillers.

Inclusivity:

Sizes 0-10 are available and Rentrayage promises its team is composed of diverse voices.

Part of their commitment to diversity also means sourcing from minority-owned businesses as much as possible.

Available: Rentrayage


3. BROKEN GHOST CLOTHING

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Broken Ghost Clothing #recylcedclothing #upcycledclothing
Image by Broken Ghost Clothing

About Broken Ghost Clothing

From Calgary, Canada, Broken Ghost Clothing makes upcycled womens clothing “OF the world, FOR the world.”

Owner, creator, and multimedia artist Jana started this slow fashion brand after owning a consignment shop for years. 

Tired of seeing so many garments and pieces of fabric go to waste, she decided to put them to good use elsewhere.  

Now she makes an extraordinary range of bespoke tunics, dresses, skirts, and more. Each piece is totally unique, and quite elegant given the cobbled nature of the various fabrics used (think Japanese Kintsugi). 

Broken Ghost Clothing’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Using unwanted garments collected from thrift stores, each piece is composed of many different deadstock fabrics. Smaller offcuts are used for decoration and finishing elements on other pieces to ensure as little fabric as possible goes to waste.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Jana is the sole crafter behind the upcycled bohemian clothing.

She takes slow fashion seriously which is why she makes everything herself and limits herself to a certain number of creations at a time.

Green business practices:

As an upcycled clothing Etsy brand, all orders are shipped carbon neutral.

Inclusivity: 

Jana makes items in a huge range of sizes, from XS-XL, plus additional plus-sizes up to 3X. All in all, she has offerings for US sizes 2-24.

Available: Etsy 


4. GREEN MARKET VINTAGE

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Green Market Vintage #recylcedclothing #upcycledclothing
Image by Green Market Vintage

About Green Market Vintage

In their words, “Green Market Vintage spring, sprang, sprung from a necessity marked in time.”

Owner and maker Cheryl started by making simple vintage button bracelets. Someone saw her creations at a school fair and suggested she sell on Etsy (to which she replied, “What’s Etsy?). 

“The rest is Herstory”, she says.

Now expanded into the realm of DIY upcycled clothing and straight-up vintage pieces, she’s one of many upcycled clothing Etsy brands—but one of the few with thousands of cult rave-review followers.

One look at her adorable patchwork “Overhauled Overalls”, colorful “Western Hippie” shirts, and classic denim jackets embellished with all sorts of sequins and designs and you’ll see why. 

Green Market Vintage’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

This handmade upcycled clothing is crafted using vintage garment bases and embellished with scrap fabric or cuttings from other vintage pieces.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Cheryl makes every single item herself out of her home in Santa Cruz, California.

Inclusivity:

XS-XL size categories in addition to plus-sized offerings.

Available: Etsy


5. RE/DONE

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by RE/DONE #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by RE/DONE

About RE/DONE

What’s screams “USA” more than Levi’s jeans? 

A USA upcycled clothing brand that reinvents them.

Founded by Sean Barron and Jamie Mazur, RE/DONE isn’t just a vintage clothing brand, but a “movement to restore individuality to the luxury fashion space, a movement to keep heritage brands relevant, and a movement to create sustainable fashion”.  

By partnering with Levi’s Jeans “to make jeans as unique as you are”, this slow fashion brand offers upcycled jeans (in either mid-rise modern skinny, boyfriend, and belly-button skimming high-rise cuts), shorts, and denim jackets.

RE/DONE’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

RE/DONE specializes in upcycled denim clothing made from vintage Levi’s. 

By taking these old jeans apart at the seams, and mix-and-matching various pairs together to create distinct denim, in limited quantities. 

Note that not all RE/DONE’s clothing is upcycledTheir non-recycled “ready-to-wear” clothes are made of still sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and TENCEL.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All upcycled vintage clothing is made in ethical factories in downtown Los Angeles within 10 miles of their headquarters. 

They also upcycle largely by hand, in order to best preserve the original stitching, wear marks of owners past, and overall storied heritage of vintage denim.

Green business practices: 

Aside from the emissions saved through their localized supply chain, they use water-conserving manufacturing methods and no harsh chemicals.

Inclusivity: 

Upcycled Levis comes in 23” – 32” waists.

Available: RE/DONE


6. FANFARE LABEL

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Fanfare #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Fanfare Label

About Fanfare Label

Fanfare Label is a London-based brand that curates upcycled bohemian clothing under the acute style eye of designer and founder Esther Knight.

A combination of sustainable virgin fabric pieces and entirely recycled ones, Fanfare Label’s lineup is bold and contemporary, while still being subtle enough to blend into professional fields. 

From sustainable streetwear to genderless suits, this upcycled clothing designer pushes boundaries.

Fanfare Label’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Fanfare Label’s limited-run designs in the upcycled clothing collection are created from recycled offcuts and the small ends of fabric rolls. 

Their other materials comes from organizations certified by entities like OEKO-Tex and GOTS.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Fanfare Label sources their fabric offcuts from high quality fashion and interior design brands, though they don’t mention exactly who or where these brands are located. 

Everything is made right in London where “Fanfare guarantees fair wages and good working conditions” and actively works toward abiding by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Green business practices: 

Their packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable.

Inclusivity

Inclusivity of sizes varies by garment depending on stock and the availability of deadstock fabric. In general, their tops come in 6-16 UK sizes (or 2-12 US) and bottoms 26”-34” in waist.

Community & charitable giving: 

Fanfare Label has joined forced with a few different organizations to fight modern slavery and plastic pollution, including A21, Freeset Global, and #OneLess.

In the name of promoting conscious fashion, they host pop-up sustainability talks in London and collaborate with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and Fashion Revolution.

Available: Fanfare Label


7. RUBY MOON

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Ruby Moon #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by RubyMoon

About RubyMoon 

Registered Community Interest Company RubyMoon is a UK upcycled clothing not-for-profit brand that’s putting new meaning to sustainable swimwear and sustainable yoga clothes

How?

Their pieces are designed for both! 

This versatile GymToSwimwear line of sports bras, crop tops, rash guards, compression shorts, and leggings allows you to be even more minimalist and conscious about how much you consume. It’s also UPF 50+ sun protective and resistant to chlorine and salt water.

“Activewear for Activists!” they call it.

RubyMoon’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

RubyMoon was the very first swim company to ever use ECONYL, sourced from the ocean in partnership with HealthySeas.org.

Everything they make is fully recycled as well as OEKO-TEX 100 certified.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Female-led RubyMoon manufactures either in Spain or across the pond in the U.K., from which bagsofsupport.co.uk handles their distribution.

All workshops are safe and the wages paid are fair. 

Green business practices: 

By using recycled fibers, digital printing methods, and integrating 9/17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into their business practices, they’ve been certified as producing 42% fewer carbon emissions. 

They also offer a fabric upcycling program so send back any old swimsuits and other stretch fabrics so they can reuse them.

Inclusivity: 

All gym-to-swimwear items are fully sized from XS-XL and their sports bras go up to 38DD.

Community & charitable giving: 

Ruby Moon is the only not-for-profit swimwear company in the world that we know of.  

This means ALL profits go toward providing loans to educate future female entrepreneurs across developing companies in order to break generational cycles of poverty.

Each RubyMoon piece is named after a woman that their profits have supported.

Available: RubyMoon


8. BEYOND RETRO

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Beyond Retro #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Beyond Retro

About Beyond Retro

Beyond Retro has been a place for people to buy upcycled clothing for two decades as has been their London thrift store.

Now, they offer a complete range of upcycled clothing online.

If you’re a true vintage connoisseur who revels in clothing like the retro Nike and rare collectible designer pieces, Beyond Retro has all that and more, repurposed into a comprehensive line of jeans, jackets, shirts, sweatshirts, joggers, dresses, skirts, and handbags.

Their “Reworked Vintage” is available for both men and women; they’re one of the few offering upcycled mens clothing in fact.

Beyond Retro’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Beyond Retro sells some vintage garments in store as they are, but the Beyond Retro upcycled vintage clothing LABEL is 100% crafted from carefully collected and curated secondhand fabrics. 

Even the trims and hardware are re-used when possible (they even use spare pennies stamped with their Anchor logo as buttons).

These recycled fabrics come from the 99% of garments that don’t make the cut for their vintage floor. 

That’s why their raw material reserve consists of a mind-boggling 93 million pounds (or 60 Olympic swimming pools) of fabrics of every conceivable quality.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

They operate in India, in a “safe and comfortable” factory fully operated by Beyond Retro. There they have 85 full-time employees who are paid fair trade wages and Skype with Beyond Retro staff daily. 

They chose India because it serves as a global hub not just for clothing manufacturing but for secondhand sorting for recycling.

That means they literally make their clothes in a factory across the street from their sorting facility, keeping quality control at a maximum and emissions and production time at a minimum. 

It also allows them to maintain a zero waste production policy because they can simply return any fabric that doesn’t pass the prototype phase so they can be recycled back into production elsewhere.

After manufacturing, all garments are sent to their East London HQ for final approval and distribution to stores in the UK and Sweden. 

Green business practices: 

Designed for the future, yet made from the past, Beyond Retro ensures their vintage remakes won’t drop when the trends are against them.

They stay ahead of the game by actually monitoring the runway and other fashion trends to help predict what the next fashion fad will be while remaining sustainable.

Their stores also recycle not just clothes, but all cardboard boxes and price tags.

Inclusivity

While sizing is somewhat random (depending on the stock of these limited-run items), they manufacture in 6-20 UK women’s sizes and XS-XL men’s sizes.

They celebrate diversity and individuality while “creating a spirit of inclusiveness”. Their words of wisdom: “Forget the rules – if it makes you happy wear it!” 

Community & charitable giving: 

Beyond Retro says, “We believe in recycling. Clothing, organs and everything in between.

While 85% of the population in Sweden want to be organ donors, only 15% actually register. That’s why they’re doing something about this with their Organ Donor Price Tag initiative.

It works like this: All garments in their Stockholm stores have tags with Organ Donor Cards on them. 

Tear it off, fill it out, put it in your sustainable wallet, and bam you may just save someone else’s life.

Available: Beyond Retro


9. LOTI

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by LOTI #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by LOTI

About LOTI

An upcycled womens clothing brand with one foot in Los Angeles and the other in Peru, LOTI uses purely discarded textiles to craft their frilly and feminine pieces.

Each garment is one-of-a-kind and they believe any “idiosyncrasies present […] are what make each piece soulful and unique”

LOTI’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices:

Materials:

LOTI only makes upcycled clothing from premium, natural discarded textiles.

This might be production scraps, leftovers, or damaged materials. Even the buttons and hardware are upcycled.

Their pieces have thus far been made of 100% cotton, 100% alpaca wool, 100% wool, and 100% silk.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Everything on their upcycled clothing website is ethically made by independent seamstresses in Lima, Peru—where the founder, Lottie Bertello, is originally from.

All deadstock is also sourced from the Peruvian Textile Mill, Creditex.

Green business practices:

Each collection is limited and made in small batches. New collections are not released until the old ones are sold out.

Being mindful of the life cycle of all aspects of their products, they use zero waste packaging.

Inclusivity:

XS-XL or trousers 0-12 (25.4”-32.7”) are available.

Available: LOTI


10. ARIELLE

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Arielle #recylcedclothing #upcycledclothing
Image by Arielle

About Arielle

Upcycled clothing store Arielle is named after the Texas-born designer and FIT’s Design Entrepreneurs program MBA scholarship recipient. 

With the intention of creating “clothes [that] are a canvas for you to be you” Arielle crafts pieces incorporating silhouettes, flattering lines, and muted colors.

We love the clean and authentic aesthetic embodied in every bodysuit, blazer, and Bellissimo skirt. 

Arielle’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Arielle uses upcycled cotton, recycled polyester (rPET) made from post-consumer plastic water bottles, and recycled wool made from upcycled sweaters and sustainable blankets.

Since upcycled organic clothing is also compostable, definitely check out the wool and cotton garments.

Everything is processed without additional dyes or chemicals.

Aside from upcycled fabrics (absolutely no virgin synthetics, whatsoever), they also use organic cotton, organic hemp, wild silk, and milk fabric.

And get this: the title of every piece tells you what the principal fabric of choice is, so no clicking and going back over and over again to find that perfect sustainable blend.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Arielle writes, “Our vision is built from the ground up: we source all materials with great care and responsibility, enforcing supply-chain transparency, human rights standards, and environmental protection.” 

Raw material sourcing aside, every stage of production, from design to distribution, takes place in New York City. 

A lot of their materials are still sourced from America, like their organic cotton from Texas and American-raised merino sheep. The only exception is their recycled wool, which comes from the Calamai family in Prato, Italy.

All operations adhere to fair trade principles.

Green business practices: 

Arielle aims to “embody and encourage a low-footprint, plastic-free lifestyle.”

A big part of that entails using upcycled fabrics, but it also entails their completely plastic-free shipping materials.

Inclusivity: 

This upcycled womens clothing ranges from S-L.

Available: Arielle


11. ZERO WASTE DANIEL

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by zero waste daniel #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Zero Waste Daniel

About Zero Waste Daniel

One of the few upcycled clothing designers in NYCZero Waste Daniel stands for sustainability and inclusivity with their fully genderless and zero waste fashion clothing.

Eponymously named after founder and “zero-waste lifestyle pioneer”, Daniel has been making waves in the clothing industry since his brand went viral with features by the likes of CNN and the New York Times. 

In Daniel’s words:

“I don’t make work that hurts people, or oppresses people, that makes someone hate their body or their face, or that pollutes someone’s water. I’m willing to work with what we’ve got, I don’t care how long it takes, I care that you look good. I care that it’s made here, that it’s made fair.” 

Whether you want organic hoodies featuring dino graphics and sassy slogans, activewear made from upcycled ocean plastics, or upcycled denim clothing with colorful embroidery, ZWD is making it. 

Zero Waste Daniel’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

ZWD is 100% zero waste, meaning all garments are made of 100% pre-consumer cutting room scraps, design room waste, deadstock garments, and regenerated post-consumer plastic. 

Every piece prevents about 1 pound of textile trash from entering the landfill.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All design room scraps and deadstock garments are sourced either locally from right within New York City’s garment district, or through the New York non-profit textile recycler FabScrap.

The pieces are then given new life under fair trade conditions at their Brooklyn workshop. 

Green business practices: 

They manufacture completely closed-loop by using every single bit of fabric, as well as using zero waste office supplies and recycled and recyclable materials for packaging.

Did we mention they offer to recycle clothes for cash?

Inclusivity:

ZWD clothing is completely genderless, so as to fully support all body types and gender identities. 

It also comes in XS-XLL sizes and uses a diverse cast of models to show off these cool creations.

Community & charitable giving: 

They frequently give back to various social organizations. 

Their current partnership is with Color of Change, and they ask you to join them in donating to Black Lives Matter.

Available: Zero Waste Daniel


12. REBORN CLOSET

We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by Reborn Closet #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Reborn Closet

About Reborn Closet

Female founded by Emily Neville, “that weird kid in middle school who attended Tuesday night sewing classes at her local quilting shop”, Reborn Closet offers a completely new take on upcycled clothing.

Their “Threads Reimagined” scheme transforms your old clothes into new products. 

Just select which product you want, send in your clothing, and receive something totally new 2-3 weeks later.

They currently offer a pet bandana, memory quilt, and pillowcase, but they’re dreaming up more ideas to add to the collection soon.

Reborn Closet’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices:

Materials:

Reborn’s materials consist of whatever you send them, sometimes paired with a bit of fleece or topstitching to ensure long-lasting functionality.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Products are entirely made by a small group of seamstresses in Raleigh, North Carolina, meaning this upcycled clothing is USA-made.

Green business practices:

Reborn Closet was founded in response to the fact that the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothes a year.

They hope to start the trend of treating our clothes better.

Available: Reborn Closet


WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT UPCYCLED CLOTHING COMPANIES

Textile waste may be the worst fashion trend since putting goldfish in shoes.

In fact, textiles have one of the poorest recycling rates of any reusable material according to the EPA. We consume huge amounts of clothing annually yet donation (of which under 20% gets resold) and recycling remains pitiful.

The average American throws away 70 pounds of textile waste per year, amounting to 21 billion tons on an annual basis.

If you live across the pond, the situation is not much better. Every UK household is estimated to throw away 35kg of clothes per year, amounting to 300,000 tons of textiles hitting the landfill per the last tally in 2016.

And this is the waste solely generated by the final product. Yet tons of textile waste comes from the production stage: fabric trimmings, ends of fabric rolls, damaged items, unsold “deadstock” product. Traditionally, all this either gets thrown away or burnt.

Recycled clothing (to buy or sell clothes online) is better simply because it has the potential to divert all that waste into someone else’s closet. 

While we have a long way to go to reach full fashion circularity, the brands on this list are making a significant dent, all things considered.  

Beyond Retro (in combination with their parent company Bank and Vogue diverted 10% of the UK’s total textile waste in 2019). 10% by just two brands is worth a call out! Imagine if more brands jumped on board.

The practice of recycling textiles has the potential to shift fashion into the sustainable gear it desperately needs.

Best of all? We as consumers can make that happen. How? Demand. Recycle your unwanted clothing and replace it with upcycled garments. 

There are many brands offering garment take-back programs, and not just their accepting their own used clothing. Read through any of our garment guides and you’ll find brands doing this.


WHAT IS UPCYCLED CLOTHING?

So you want to buy upcycled clothing?

Great. But what is upcycled clothing?

We’ve done a deep dive on this but in short know that it’s any clothing made from a textile otherwise deemed unwanted and bound for the landfill.

A “new” upcycled skirt could be made from upholstery, textile scraps, or even carpeting—though you’ll most commonly find upcycled clothing companies using other clothing (AKA deadstock clothing).

A lot of deadstock comes from within the fashion industry (such as unsold out-of-style stock) but it can also come directly from consumers via brand recycling programs.

Some upcycled clothing involves more “reinvention” than others, namely if it’s made from offcuts or textiles that weren’t previously garments.

Upcycling from other clothing can mean reworking and combining various garments, or it can mean something more subtle.

A lot of upcycled denim clothing, for example, is simply adding embroidery or other design work.


HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST UPCYCLED CLOTHING STORES

We aim to avoid fast fashion and the best upcycled clothing brands are doing the same.

But how did we pick out the cream of the crop among clothing companies who upcycle?

Our good ol’ guide to sustainable and ethical fashion once again came in handy: 

Materials:

As mentioned above, upcycled clothing materials can mean nearly anything.

The best upcycled clothing fabrics are natural ones. Recycled cotton, denim, hemp fabric, and linen not only keep materials out of landfills, but can also be composted at the end of their second life.

Recycled synthetic fabrics don’t have a green end-of-life—unless we keep them in a circular system. 

But synthetics do have the advantage of abundance. They make up around 64% of modern fabrics.

Fortunately, most synthetics can be recycled indefinitely—and the process requires 90% less water, 85% less energy, and produces 90% less CO2 emissions than their virgin counterparts.

Whenever you wear and wash recycled synthetics, always use a Guppyfriend bag to prevent microplastics from entering waterways. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Here we get into the ethics—the fair and proper treatment of everyone in the supply chain, from seed to shelf. We look for fair pay, safe working conditions, and proper treatment of workers. 

This is where transparency comes in. We want to know #WhoMadeMyClothes?

We get extra peace of mind to protect us from the dangers of greenwashing with third-party certifications:

Green business practices:

Recycling fabric and other materials is a great start—but these brands are doing even more. 

We’re happy to see upcycled clothing websites using recycled/recyclable packaging, repair programs, water and energy conservation methods (closed-loop manufacturing), avoidance of harsh chemicals, supporting carbon offset programs, and small, local supply chains. 

Inclusivity:

We know it’s hard with limited availability of recycled/deadstock material, but body positivity, cultural representation, and inclusive size range is still important. 

We want clothing that accommodates all genders, bodies, and (ideally) budgets. 

Community & charitable giving:

Every little bit matters, so it warms our hearts to see donations to charities, employee volunteer days, or simply raising awareness for environmental and social causes. 


FINAL THOUGHTS ON MENS & WOMENS UPCYCLED CLOTHING

Now you know where to buy upcycled clothing online.

Or, if you’re wondering what to do with old clothes, maybe it’ll even inspire you to try some upcycled clothing DIY.

Regular readers will know that now is the point in the article where we stress only using this list as a resource if you have to buy new and opting for thrift stores first.

But the great thing about this particular list is that it’s somewhat synonymous with buying used.  

So if you have any thrift-happy friends, share these upcycled clothing stores with them and let’s all get behind the future of sustainable fashion.


We love preloved! We’d even go so far as to say used clothes are the best clothes, which is why we're loving all these recycled & upcycled clothing brands. Image by LOTI #upcycledclothing #upcycledclothingbrands #sustainablejungle

4 thoughts on “12 Upcycled Clothing Brands Making Dreamy Deadstock Duds”

  1. I’m a firm believer in upcycling! I’ve been designing and making upcycled clothing for a few years. Some of the best revues I’ve received are from Plus sized women… because they really don’t get to have custom “pretty” garments as much as the XS, – M sized girls. It is important that we try to use the gently used garments we come across and not just throw them away!

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  2. Some beautiful suggestions in here that I’ve never come across before! Also recommend RÆBURN; pioneers in upcycling (RÆMADE, RÆDUCED, RÆCYCLED) and based in East London. They sell deadstock materials in their Fabric Shop, and even do super inspirational studio tours which are well worth it if you’re a student or fashion designer.

    https://www.raeburndesign.co.uk/

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  3. I wish upcycled clothing begins to be appreciated in my country-Croatia. I have started my upcycled clothing workshop in order to be selfemployed. The authorities are normally giving money to those who want to be selfemployed. My project was refused as unsustainable, and did not get any score for inovative, eventhough , there’s noone around doing it, yet.
    I shall of course , do it anyway, for i believe i’m doing good for the environment , means for people as well.

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