In this world of perpetual catchphrases, “upcycling” may not register. But it will soon.
First, consider this statistic: In one year the factory that made the shirt or blouse or dress or pants you’re wearing right now created up to 60,000 pounds of textile waste in remainder fabric and other cast-off “trash.”
Second, introduce yourself to Looptworks. This Portland, Oregon-based company doesn’t see these apparel factory remainders as waste. Instead, they repurpose—or upcycle—the abandoned materials into fashion-forward, limited-edition, travel-friendly apparel like the Perai Hoodie, made from abandoned fabric in Indonesia, or the Jalan Overshirt, which is named after a street in Malaysia near where the garment’s discarded fabric was found. They even fashion neoprene laptop sleeves for the cast-offs left over from making wet suits.
Of the many men and women styles, here’s our two travel-friendly picks:
Men’s Kawasan Jacket ($95)
This low-profile blazer is made of 61% organic cotton and 39% cotton canvas, offering a comfortable yet durable second skin perfect for late fall and early spring urban globe-hopping. Little details in this slim-fitting jacket include hidden side-seam pockets, snap lapel flaps, and contrast stitching, and comes in both gray and brown.
Women’s Ningxia Cowl Neck ($60)
This slinky long-sleeve pullover feel like it’s spun from silk, but the modal fabric with a hint a spandex resists wrinkling through even the longest trips. It’s perfect for throwing on over a tank if the airplane gets a bit chilly or when the sun sets during dessert at an outdoor café. Like all good travel pieces, it goes with everything from jeans to leggings to black pants. Colorwise, the rich violet works for fall, while the subtle aqua green will take you through spring. –Kate Chandler
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