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Past and Present Lives of Upcycled Fashion

Friday, September 15, 2023 at 8:00am to 8:00pm

Human Ecology Building (HEB), Terrace Level Display cases

Upcycling is the act of transforming used and waste materials into new objects of equal or greater value. This exhibit explores the evolution of upcycled fashion from an individualized domestic practice into a critical method of sustainable fashion production in the commercial sphere. In the past upcycling most frequently occurred during times of scarcity.  Paradoxically, today’s surge in upcycling is in response to the overabundance of pre- and post-consumer materials created amid unsustainable rates of production, consumption, and rapid disposal. Upcyclers are simultaneously keeping valuable materials out of the waste stream while also challenging accepted definitions of waste.

This exhibit by PhD Candidate Kat Roberts celebrates the makers, materials, and creativity of contemporary upcycled brands.

This exhibit was made possible by funding from the Charlotte A. Jirousek Fellowship in the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection.

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Event Type



Cornell Human Ecology, Human Centered Design

University Themes

Research, Sustainability

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Kat Roberts

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