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New life to textile industry waste: a project that links art and upcycling

Textile Upcycling

Designer Swati Soharia combines her passion for fabrics with respect for the environment.

After graduating in 2011 from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in New Delhi, designer Swati Soharia observed at length the impact that the textile industry has had on the environment in recent years, especially due to the advent of low-cost fashion.

Textile Upcycling
            Upcycled fabric made from textile fabric scraps                                (photo:Swati Soharia Studio-Facebook

In fact, textile manufacturing utilizes a very large amount of water and energy, to which is added an unacceptable percentage of textile waste. Therefore, in addition to the waste generated by consumers, there are, moreover, enormous quantities of “fabric scraps” that are discarded during the production phase.

Textile upcycling
         An upcycle sewing lesson (photo

So the designer, after creating the Swati Soharia Studio, decided to take concrete action to counteract this situation. As a result, today she holds sewing classes to teach less well-off women how to upcycle (re-use) the fabric scraps from the textile industry to create perfectly viable and affordable clothing. Moreover, in parallel, the Swati Soharia Studio sensitizes consumers to a more environmentally sustainable approach, thanks to artistic projects such as “Storytelling through Textile Art”.


               A dress (sari) created with fabric scraps                                  (photo: Swati Soharia Studio-Facebook)

The objective, explains the designer, is to look at textile waste from an artistic point of view, while simultaneously narrating and preserving local traditions. The project plans to travel to various communities in India, collect the textile waste fabric scraps produced by the local textile companies, and transform them into wonderful wearable clothing.

Each article of clothing is different from the other and therefore unique, providing an interesting meeting point between ancient traditions and the modern culture of upcycling waste. 


Come and discover this and many other projects dedicated to technology and sustainability at the Maker Faire Rome – the European Edition 2019, the world-famous innovative technology fair that will be held from 18 to 20 October at  Fiera di Roma. Tickets are now on sale!