Studying Time: 5 minutes

By Haley Sengsavanh

In late September, containers packed filled with outdated athletic gear arrived on the doorsteps of 19 Toronto Metropolitan College (TMU) vogue design alumni. Inside have been clusters of blue and yellow cloth, from hockey socks, cheerleading gloves to basketball jerseys. All this stuff had one factor in frequent: they have been outdated Ryerson and Rams-branded merchandise now thought of waste. However by the TMU Upcycled Gear Vogue Present, these clothes gadgets and equipment will obtain a brand new life within the type of 25 runway-ready outfits.

This occasion, which can be held on the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Nov. 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., is a part of the college’s Branded Supplies Transition Venture (BMTP), led by members of the TMU Athletics and Recreation division. Its purpose is to reuse or upcycle the entire college’s outdated branded supplies together with merchandise, uniforms, attire, letterheads and extra.

The style present can be a part of the MAC’s tenth anniversary celebrations, the college mentioned in a written assertion to The Eyeopener

They mentioned the style present goals to “honour and have fun the legacy of the Rams and the longer term success of TMU Daring whereas shining the sunshine on environmental sustainability.” The college reported that up to now, they’ve prevented over 7,000 kilos of branded supplies from getting into landfills, with a purpose to exceed 10,000 kilos by the top of 2022.

Dr. Anika Kozlowski, an assistant professor of vogue design, ethics & sustainability, was approached by TMU’s athletics division to help with the textiles aspect of the BMTP initiatives. This undertaking was a “excellent match” for Kozlowski, she mentioned. Not solely does she have a tutorial background in vogue sustainability, she can be a sports activities fanatic and has been upcycling since college.

“Typically you upcycle one thing that has no worth, and the entire level is to provide it worth”

The style present is a part of Kozlowski’s environmental sciences analysis undertaking into upcycling. She performed interviews with all of the designers and instructed them to ship again all their leftover cloth scraps to doc how a lot of the fabric was truly used.

“We’re doing analysis to grasp upcycling extra as a result of it’s very totally different from a conventional vogue design course of. Typically you upcycle one thing that has no worth and the entire level is to provide it worth,” she mentioned. “You’re working with supplies which have stains, might be ripped or have a lot of abrasion and put on.”

Alongside vogue professor Shelley Haines, Kozlowski additionally created an outfit to be showcased on the runway. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve been concerned with a vogue present, so simply attending to be artistic once more and be part of this was a spotlight for certain,” she mentioned.

The alumni she chosen for the present are all concerned within the realm of sustainability. Jessica Frankel, who graduated from TMU’s vogue design program in 2020, created her capstone undertaking solely out of denim from thrift shops. To create these 5 appears to be like, she utilized a Japanese mending model referred to as Boro, which patches textile scraps collectively utilizing a single sew. The end result was a patchwork-looking impact.

She created an analogous patchwork search for the style present by making her personal cloth from outdated basketball and hockey jerseys. Out of this distinctive textile, Frankel created a cropped tank high and low-waisted joggers set, with zippers curving across the physique that enable it to be adjusted to the wearer’s private liking. She mentioned the outfit was impressed by sports activities uniforms and Y2K vogue. “You have a look at this and also you assume TMU,” Frankel mentioned.

Frankel hopes that the style present will encourage folks to contemplate how a lot work went into saving the once-abandoned items of clothes. 

“Something you may consider that may be branded is sitting in a field, in a bunker at school,” she mentioned. “We’re doing our half as designers to provide these merchandise new life in order that they are often worn once more and never in a landfill someplace.”

TMU Upcycled Gear Vogue Present provides new life to outdated merch
Courtesy TMU Athletics

Tickets for the present can be found for buy on the MAC web site. Flooring tickets for TMU alumni and neighborhood members value $20 and balcony tickets for TMU college students with a legitimate OneCard are $10. There may be restricted capability on the balcony, with standing room solely.

All of the restricted version runway outfits can be auctioned off at a fundraising occasion after the present.

All of the proceeds from the style present will go towards the TMU Daring Fairness & Inclusion Award, which financially helps scholar athletes from equity-deserving teams.

President Mohamed Lachemi, interim provost Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano, vice-provost college students, Jen McMillen and 25 TMU varsity and membership group scholar athletes can be strolling the runway, based on the college. 

Throughout the design course of, the style design alumni had the chance to attach with the athletes modelling their appears to be like and collaborate to create one thing genuine to them.

Frankel labored with student-athlete Alyona Ivanova, who graduated from TMU’s biomedical sciences program in 2022. She was a part of the TMU determine skating group and continues to be part of the varsity’s equestrian group. 

Ivanova is a lifelong athlete—she grew up determine skating and competed for the Russian nationwide group earlier than shifting to Canada. She at the moment works for SickKids within the neurosurgery analysis division.

Ivanova can be signed to Icon Fashions and says the present is a good alternative for her to study extra concerning the vogue trade and join with folks in it. “As a determine skater, I actually like performing and being on stage,” she mentioned. “Vogue exhibits are additionally a efficiency in a manner and also you get to indicate off the work of nice designers.”

This distinctive combine between sports activities and vogue was one of many issues that originally intrigued TMU vogue design 2021 graduate Roy Luo about this occasion. His design course of concerned lots of suggestions from his fashions. He selected a sporty route when creating the 2 outfits and matching equipment.

“I actually wished to get the attitude of the coed athletes and ended up getting actually impressed by the sports activities they performed. Certainly one of them is a baseball participant so I made pants which have a working baseball sew on the seams.”

Supply: @ anikazofia by way of Instagram

Luo’s purpose when creating these clothes was to include as some ways of upcycling as attainable. One technique was de-constructing knitted gadgets like toques into balls of yarn, which he then wove into a shawl utilizing a loom. “Lots of knitwear is constructed in a round and nearly zero-waste manner, so a bit could be made out of a single strand of yarn,” he mentioned.

All through this undertaking, Luo was additionally in a position to experiment with zero waste methods like subtraction slicing. This technique of garment-making could be utilized to any tubular form and begins with the designer drawing out the fundamentals for the garment in a mismatched manner.

Then, fairly than slicing out the sample piece itself, they reduce out the negatives to create a brand new drape. 

“Lots of knitwear is constructed in a round and zero-waste manner”

He included a part of this method when making a patchwork skirt from cut-up hockey socks.

“In subtraction slicing, you’re in a position to reduce out circles or squares from it. Then you may put them collectively. It creates an attention-grabbing form that you simply couldn’t conventionally get if you happen to have been attempting to draft from the bottom up.”

Luo believes the style present is making a constructive impression and hopes it demonstrates the potential that upcycling has.

“There’s lots of concepts on this undertaking,” he mentioned. 

“The totally different methods that me and my fellow designers are incorporating actually exhibits you that there’s multiple technique to create sustainable vogue.”