Episode 4

Beyond Remade: Upcycling and Thrift in the Fashion Industry

In today’s episode of In With the New, Avril Tomlin-Hood welcomes Steven Bethell, co-founder of Beyond Retro and Bank & Vogue, Ltd., to discuss upcycling in the fashion industry.

44 minutes | Feb. 21, 2023

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Steven Bethell is the co-founder of Bank & Vogue, Beyond Retro, and Beyond Remade, a line of unique, reworked items handcrafted from carefully selected vintage fabrics. Beyond Retro has been the leader in vintage clothing in Europe for over 15 years and was featured on the cover of Vogue, in the Huffington Post, and worn by Adele.

Steven is also the co-founder of Bank & Vogue Ltd., which works with over 250 charities and private collectors to maximize the value hierarchy of textiles, based on the belief that everything has the potential to not only avoid landfills, but generate profit. As the co-founder of several sustainable fashion companies, he has been a thought leader and pioneer in the post-consumer textile space for over 20 years. Steven works with notable brands to help bring their sustainability platforms to the next level.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Steven Bethell shares how he entered the post-consumer textile space
  • How Bank & Vogue and its subsidiaries reduce post-consumer waste
  • Steven addresses fast fashion and thrift trends
  • Inspiring environmental change through storytelling
  • How brands are adopting sustainable fashion practices

In this episode…

In recent years, upcycled, thrift, and vintage goods have taken the fashion industry by storm. The secondhand market is only expected to grow in coming years, and is a sharp contrast to “fast fashion” in which brands mass produce cheap, low-quality goods that have short lifespans and often end up in landfills. The negative environmental impact of the fashion industry – and fast fashion in particular – is well known, and some brands have made efforts to adopt upcycling and other sustainable programs to reduce their environmental impact. But in some cases, these efforts have backfired because they are viewed as greenwashing, and have hurt the brand’s credibility. So how can brands and consumers inspire meaningful change in the fashion industry?

Steven Bethell says that meaningful change will ensue if you can entice trend conformists to donate old clothes, and purchase secondhand items from local thrift and vintage stores rather than buying new. As well, brands must market products that simultaneously appeal to trends and sustainability by developing a compelling story that resonates with consumers on both fronts. Through his companies, Steven promotes sustainable upcycling by finding creative solutions that give post-consumer fashion a “second life.”

Resources mentioned in this episode: