1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

High Five

5 materials you probably didn't know could be turned into fashion

Handbags made from bicycle tubes, clothes from paper - but there's much more to upcycling than that. Some designers like to work with materials that you wouldn't expect to find at a fashion show.

What may be trash for some is a designer's treasure.

"Upcycling" is the term used when new designer items are made from materials that would otherwise be thrown in the bin. They're often found in home design or fashion.

The concept of upcycling isn't new. In the 1990s, outdoor brand Patagonia produced fleece jackets made from plastic bottles. Since then, many fashion designers have increasingly focused on sustainable design.

Handbags have been fashioned out of bicycle tire tubes and designer fashion has been made from paper. But upcycling can get much more unusual than that.

Got milk - in your closet?

Anke Domaske, a designer in Hanover, takes upcycling to the limits and makes clothes entirely from milk - or, more accurately, from leftover milk.

Two million liters (over 528,000 gallons) of milk are thrown away every year in Germany. Domaske turns the milk fibers into material that is as light as silk - but a lot cheaper.

The designer studied microbiology, which helped her develop her unique process of separating the protein from the milk and then mixing it with water and additives. The exact recipe is a well-kept secret.

The result is a kind of dough that is then pressed into threads that are thinner than human hair. The clothing that is made from milk fibers are scentless, easy to take care of and good for your skin. Theoretically, you could even eat them.

With her company QMilch, Anke Domaske produces milk threads for the textile industry. She also bridges the gap between science and design and creates designer clothes with her own label, Mademoiselle Chi Chi.

DW recommends