Fashion’s modem operandi is to constantly reinvent itself. This idea is especially true for embracing sustainability since we can’t all wear earthy neutral clothing made from hemp. Enter inventions like ÚCHÈ’s belt bag for a top. These are upcycled garments that reinvent the wheel with utilitarianism and creative positioning. It’s a fashion-forward approach to sustainable design that might make one wonder if it is indeed the direction of mainstream sustainability in fashion or if it is the apex of a niche movement. Are people truly wearing this, and what do they put in that pocket if they are?
This type of design piggybacks off of the maximalist movement at-large within fashion. As we’ve entered the era of maximalism, we’ve also made headway into playful sustainable fashion designs. Sustainable brands that lean into punchy maximalist style have started to crop up, like Chopova Lowena using deadstock fabric to create patchwork skirts and Hope Macaulay, who handknits colossal and colourful sweaters. ÚCHÈ is an example of a sustainable fashion brand that leads with a non-stitch technique, which relies on creative positioning. It works because it’s an unexpected design made with a distinct aesthetic vision. That’s what makes the bags so appealing — not only do they rail against harmful design practices, but they also don’t look like something you could find on the high street. It’s an eyecatching design for a bold person that is unafraid to take fashion risks.
These ÚCHÈ shirts would be the perfect fashion statement for a music festival in place of a cumbersome fanny pack or the ideal crop top for engaging social media posts. They’re tops that say, “I’m unafraid to be original and break barriers in fashion.” They expand our perception of what sustainable fashion looks like and remind us that repurposing clothes with originality causes them to be more interesting than their initial form.