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Upcycling – turning old clothes into a sofa

Caroline Zöller

Published on 02.01.2020

Balenciaga introduces a couch made of old clothes that is intended to symbolise mindfulness for the environment and resources.

Together with the French luxury brand Balenciaga, architect and furniture-designer Harry Nuriev as designed a transparent vinyl couch, padded with old clothing provided by the label, for the Design Miami art fair in 2019. The sofa uses worn, discarded, damaged garments, or clothes that were otherwise unmarketable and from outdated Balenciaga collections for its upholstery.

The functional piece of art stands for sustainable and environment-friendly design, breathing new life into old and used clothes and upcycling them into a work of art. The couch is intended to document the fashion brand’s environmental credentials and encourage other labels to adopt a similar sustainable product policy. Balenciaga itself is increasingly involved in introducing new projects that recycle waste products and contribute to a sustainable circular-flow economy.

It took the artist two months to produce the colourful couch. He was inspired to create the long design with extendable footrest and armrest by deck chairs. The special upholstery with its quilted-design backrest is reminiscent of a traditional sofa. The attention-grabbing piece of furniture appealed to a whole crowd of visitors, who just had to try it out at the Miami art fair, and made a colourful advertisement for raising the profile of sustainability in the textile industry.

Sustainable textile production is also one of the focuses of PromoTex Expo. The Campus Textile Innovation area in Hall 12, stand N59, is entirely devoted to fair and sustainable textile production. Under the patronage of the Green Button, the governmental seal for sustainable textiles, you will find young labels and established companies presenting their strategies and business models.

Image: Balenciaga/Harry Nuriev