Marcia Ganem is a brilliant designer who transforms nasty waste into delicate fashion
By Arwa Lodhi
I was delighted to hear that Pharrell Williams co-created a company called Bionic Yarn that’s using plastic ‘harvested’ from the seas. It’s broken down into fine threads, and is then used to make new clothing.
But Pharrell is not the only one who has had the idea of taking old materials and recycling their fibres or components to make fashion. There are also plenty of brands that recycle old tires, for example. Accessories can be made from inner tube bike tire ‘leather’, and Ruta 10 (which you can see here) make great for handbags with this material.
Paguro Upcycle is also well known for its use of inner tubes to create jewellery, and several shoe brands have used the old rubber for the soles of their creations. But designer Marcia Ganem has found a more innovative – and beautiful – way to incorporate tires into fashion.
The well established Brazilian designer is already famous for her recycled polyamide creations and dedication to promoting both sustainability and Brazilian fashion, but this new, delicately spun fabric resulting from recycling these old tires, and her means of using them to give off a sensual, silky look, really takes her abilities to another level.
The designer claims she’s influenced by a wide variety of styles, ranging from classical ballet to Victoriana. But her main muse is the planet: “I was looking for creative ways to transform rubbish into something beautiful,” she states. “We think about plastic a lot, but discarded tires are just as ubiquitous, and just as harmful for the Earth.”
The combination of string and wire with the fibres gives the clothing a beautifully raw edge, perfect for wearing both on the exotic beaches of Brazil or in some of the country’s exotic nightclubs and restaurants.
Who knew such beauty existed in old junk?
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Images all by Giorgio Mondolfo