During the Riga Fashion Week, students of the Fashion Design Department of the Art Academy of Latvia (AAL), Loreta Asermane, Nils Alencevičs, Artūrs Skurstenis, Zaiga Brutāne and Vitālijs Kondraščuks, presented their collection Lost & Found, created in less than two days. The ten outfits were made using clothes, home textiles, and accessories from textile waste recycling containers.
Five upcoming designers from AAL accepted the challenge of the waste management company AJ Power Recycling to participate in the Upcycling Live project, and in less than two days, in the presence of Riga Fashion Week visitors, they created unique outfits from clothes, bags, shoes, curtains, tablecloths, and toys found in textile recycling bins.
«Participating in Upcycling Live brought up a lot of emotions for us. We were overwhelmed by the limited time we had to create the outfits, impressed by the good organisation of the event, and curious and interested to see how it would all look together in the end. We are happy that the fashion industry in Latvia is becoming greener and interesting solutions are being found to talk about the need to reduce textile waste,» says Vitālijs Kondraščuks, MA student at the AAL Fashion Design Department.
On average, almost 30 000 tonnes of textiles are imported into Latvia every year, and the amount of textile waste continues to grow. In less than a year, around 700 tonnes of textiles have been deposited in 200 sorting containers placed by AJ Power Recycling all over Latvia, and every day the company receives calls from the regions about people’s demand for additional containers. One of the sectors that bears the greatest responsibility for textile waste is the fashion industry, which is why AJ Power Recycling, as a sustainability partner of Riga Fashion Week, is drawing attention to the issue of textile waste.
«It is important to be aware that our everyday choices regarding the purchase and further use of clothing have an impact on the environment. The production and transport of clothing, through to its wear and disposal, all leave a large ecological footprint. The five young designers have shown with their work that it is possible to give textiles a second life,» says Solveiga Grīsle, Member of the Board of AJ Power Recycling.