Momo Wang’s Third-Hand UpCycle Collection is a brilliantly colorful example of what can be achieved with reusing found materials in fashion. Inspired by the “third hand” idea of French philosopher Derrida, Wang told Texprint of the 12-piece collection, “They were all made in my hometown Jinzhou in China. I bought all the clothes and materials from local second-hand markets there. The market is very cool.”
Upcycling as art form isn’t a new idea; anyone who is familiar with the history of quilting in America knows that the best examples of that art take what was once a precious commodity (printed fabric) and uses every last bit of it. It was common to use, reuse, then pull apart and use fabric again when it was precious and expensive for the average person. It is not that we are, in the modern era, lacking in creativity, but we certainly don’t have the resource-scarce impetus to push us towards reuse that we once did.
But Wang finds upcycling to be a creative challenge: “The basic idea is to do what I can to refresh, renew, re-animate precious second-hand materials, and eventually deliver the beauty in them by my realization, and eventually have more and more people doing the same, or at least thinking similarly,” she says.
Wang is working on her next collections and is also teaching upcycling classes in Beijing. You can see lots more on her Tumblr.