RecycloFashion: Eco Brand-Building


It is comforting to see a group of graduates wanting to tread lightly on the planet by spreading the word that green designs can be fashion-forward, edgy as well as sustainably responsible.

Founded in August 2007 by four students from the Republic Polytechnic’s School of Technology for the Arts, RecycloFashion has already generated quite a bit of eco-buzz.

I talk to Ash about the backstory of the earth-friendly initiative …

What is RecycloFashion? What is your mission?

RecycloFashion, essentially, is an ambassador to the many regional “eco” or green brands in Singapore, South East Asia and various countries in Europe and Australia. We collaborate with designers and artists from various backgrounds who use alternative and earth-friendly materials in their work. We come up with marketing concepts and advertisements that the brands use to brand their own ads. So in short, we promote them, and they promote us.

Our mission is create awareness and to make eco look wearable and fashionable for the discerning shopper. To us, eco is beautiful as it combines crucial values to create unique pieces with special individual pieces.

Why and Who?

The idea of RecycloFashion was born through a Final Year school project, where we had to come up with a new media project. We come from different specialisations – Art and Design as well as Media and Entertainment, which is how the cross-breed came about; visual artist, Yong Zhi. graphic designer and resident fashion whore, Harng, I am a copy-writer and typography enthusiast while Alexia is a film-maker. We tried to find something that connected the four of us, so we decided to embark on a campaign “Fashion for a Cause” that combined all these elements. We made a video documentary, shot a model in a recycled setting and made an editorial spread for the whole project.

Are local designers becoming more aware of the industry’s impact on the environment with all the media coverage on global warming?

Yes, it’s difficult not to be aware actually. After all, last year marked the eco evolution and ‘green’ started becoming very trendy. More documentaries and films were being made.

But not all designers choose to go on the green path, and we can understand where they are coming from. They have their own materials that they prefer to work with. Not everyone likes to work with organic cotton or hundred percent recycled fibre. Then of course, there’s the inspiration behind doing what you do. You can’t force someone to feel strongly for a ’cause’ .


And for those of you who think that eco-fashion is all about hemp sandals, beige oversized dresses and patchouli – think again. The above creation by Angelynn Tan is made of bamboo fibre, and proves that green fashion can be feminine and flirty. Ash explains, “Actually it is a prototype men’s top meant to symbolise androgyny, which is really hot in fashion. The bangle was made of recycled aluminium and the set was assembled from recycled paper cups and art paper that our friends didn’t want to use anymore.”

Are there many eco-savvy designers in Singapore? Drop some names.

It’s a very small market in Singapore as eco-fashion is still at its very beginning. There’s Didier Ng who makes bags and accessories from recycled banners, Teddy Or and Angelynn Tan who use bamboo fibre as part of their clothing collections and Vik Lim, a lecturer at NAFA, who does neckpieces made of scrap materials and cloth from tailors/friends.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re working on two eco-fashion shows now which will be held at the Red Dot Museum in August and September. These shows will feature talks, exhibitions and runway features by eco designers. Also, we’re planning to make the second stage of our campaign national, by pulling in sponsors and more collaborators. We’re also traveling to Jakarta for our next shoot and sourcing around for new materials to work with.

I understand that you are working on your own line. Can you tell me more about it?

Yes, we are actually. We’re thinking of promoting RecycloFashion as a brand. So we’re going to make items out of the materials we are passionate about … But it’s all hush-hush for now!



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