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Local powerhouses HoMie and Upparel have teamed up for an entirely upcycled collection

WORDS BY JULIETTE CAPOMOLLA

A match made in upcycling heaven.

Leading Melbourne streetwear brand HoMie is bringing back its upcycling label Reborn in a collaboration with Upparel. This collaboration brings together two local powerhouses in the upcycling, eco-conscious fashion space. 

Their range, which previewed at Melbourne Fashion Week (M/FW) on Wednesday night, features upcycled, bespoke pieces made from pre-loved clothing Upparel donated. No two pieces are the same in this collection, which represents much of the appeal with upcycling (besides the sustainability side, obviously). 

Upparel is a global circular fashion brand which receives clothing donations and decides whether to reuse, repurpose or recycle. It receives millions of pieces and has been searching for partners to try and upcycle as much as possible. Cue the birth of Reborn at the start of the year, and the perfect pairing was established – both brands are on a mission to eradicate textile waste and found each other in the process.

In case you missed it, HoMie launched its Reborn label in March. Since then, we’ve seen it release sell-out collaborations with Champion, 24Hundred and Boywolf. In fact, in his excited state chatting to me  post-M/FW show, the co-founder and creative director of HoMie, Marcus Crook, let it slip that Reborn is starting work this week on a collaboration with Nobody Denim which will come out next year. 

According to Marcus, the collaboration with Upparel was something new for them, and experimenting with denim and bottoms in this range is a first for Reborn. “It was all about branching out into a new area and trying to push the boundaries. [The collaboration] just kind of popped up and we are always open to collaborating with other brands,” he said.

For Marcus, it’s been inspiring to be part of M/FW. His excitement about the collection permeated through my phone – it was infectious. You see, I caught him just as he was driving to pick up the clothes from the runway to take them back to the HoMie base and upload them to the site for tonight’s launch.

“It is unreal to be involved in Melbourne Fashion Week. It’s really inspiring to see that sustainability is starting to come to the forefront of people’s minds when they organise these events,” he enthused.

The two brands are a perfect match, according to Michael Elias, founder and managing director of Upparel. “It’s not just about fashion for the both of us. It’s very much about doing the right thing, being purpose-driven and purposefully impactful,” he explained. He was just as giddy as Marcus about the whole ordeal, telling me (and I’m not mincing his words), “I am so freaking proud of this”. 

HoMie has always been a brand passionate about its impact since it was founded in 2015. It’savoided textile waste for the last five years by giving any excess product to the homeless. At the end of last year when it had still a bit of product leftover, Marcus decided to get a crash course in sewing from his mum and start upcycling the pieces himself. Since then, Reborn has grown to a tight-knit team of three who repurpose the pieces in a  warehouse in Collingwood. 

Michael, like Marcus, expects upcycled and recycled clothing to be the norm moving forward. 

“Kudos to Melbourne Fashion Week. They’re the ones giving people like Homie, like us, the platform to raise awareness and show anything can be done really. Fashion isn’t just the traditional model. I think it’s transforming, and it’s transforming for good,” he said.

You can shop the Upparel x Reborn collection online here or in HoMie’s Fitzory store.

homie.com.au

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