We collaborated with artist and fashion designer Ican Harem to highlight the concept of radical upcycling. Harem is a key player in the upcycling and reworking of waste materials in Indonesia – old garments and objects rehashed into something new.
Together, we hosted our first live upcycling workshop, based on the notion of RE3: Reconnect, Reimagine and Redesign.
MAKE SPACE FOR EXPRESSION
Ican Harem feels the fashion industry is too fast – and he’s not one to cave to global trends. Ican grew up submerged in the worlds of punk rock and metal in Indonesia. In these circles, he said, he noticed that clothing was an integral component in the formation of one’s identity. His philosophy as a designer is simple: “what you need is actually a new experience, not a new material”.
Ican’s work combines the practice of upcycling with the art of identity expression. Through his project, Future Loundry, he takes used textile items from a mixed bag of genres and subcultures – disco, punk and metal, alike – and sews them together to make one unique piece of clothing.
One of the highlights of this project, for Ican, is the level of connection involved. He collects clothes from communities with different interests and passions. As a result, he works with a wide variety of branded items, patterns, shapes, colours and textures – each with a history of its own. “The story of the clothes is also fascinating for me,” he said.
It was our great pleasure to host our first virtual workshop with Ican, where he talked us through his formula of sourcing used clothes, finding harmony in clashes and using a sewing machine and hand-stitching to create a new experience from items of the past.