Every year hundreds of millions t-shirts are produced. T-shirts are and iconic, essential piece of clothing. But, from crop to shop, they carry a pretty hefty environmental burden.

Designer Reet Aus PhD is dedicated to slow fashion and she has come up with a clever design and upcycling production system to mass-produce t-shirts using only post-production leftovers. We call it the Up-shirt!

Reet Aus PhD has developed a method which enables to circulate the leftover materials back into production inside the same factory. Post-industrial waste is mostly created in developing countries in Asia. Unfortunately most of these areas don`t have proper waste managment and mass-production manufacturers are left with average 18% of pre-consumer textile waste that very often is taken to landfill or burned. Industrial upcycling offers a solution and that is why Up-shirts are produced in Beximco (Bangladesh) and in Mandala Apparels and Kishor Exports (India), avoiding any virgin materials. You can follow Reet in her blog in Huffington Post:

Up-shirt is a basic clothing item for everyone, from kids to adults and can be worn through different seasons. Each collection is updated with few new additional symbols and colours, depending on available leftover materials.

Up-shirts are UPMADE Certified and each Up-shirt saves on average 91% water, 87% energy and creates 80% less CO2.

Designer Reet Aus has won many local and international awards, the latest being listed as one of the Top 20 Women in Business in Northern Europe by Nordic Business Report (2015) and Estonian President has given the The Order of the White Star, class V (2016).

Aus Design Llc. was awarded as Most Environmentally Friendly Company in Estonia (2013), runner-up at European Business Awards for the Environment (2014) and runner-up at I:COLLECT Award (2015). 

Photos by Laura Nestor