Fashion Designer Shows How to Keep Discarded Camping Gear Out of Landfills
Unique Designs Use Reclaimed Materials to Create Outdoor Clothing and Reduce Waste.
Molly Sellars hasn’t even graduated college, but she’s already garnering plenty of attention for fashion design. For her graduate project, the forward-thinking designer created a line of outdoor apparel made entirely from materials reclaimed from discarded camping gear. The result is a line of jackets, vests, and pants made from recycled materials recovered from tents and sleeping bags.
The unique and distinctive clothing comes with a fresh sense of style while also helping reduce waste. But incorporating mesh and fabrics from tents in the design and creation of the garments is just part of the story.
“I knew using tents as clothing was a concept that had previously been explored,” Sellars tells fashion-focused website Hypebeast, “but I wanted to explore their potential to become fully functioning garments. I challenged myself to use as many elements of the tents as I could within each of the designs.”
Sellars upgraded the garments in her project by giving them functionality that goes beyond providing warmth and comfort. For instance, a jacket made from tent fabric can also be used as a hammock, while a pair of pants transform into a camping quilt. This design philosophy reflects Molly’s approach to reducing waste by creating versatile products that can be used in multiple ways—potentially eliminating the need to purchase another piece of gear.
Born and raised in the Lake District—England’s premiere outdoor destination—Sellars took an appreciation for outdoor clothing and gear early. When she was older, she began attending music festivals throughout the UK and was appalled at the waste those events created. She was especially taken aback by the amount of camping gear thrown away. Dozens of tents, sleeping bags, and other equipment were left, eventually making their way into a landfill.
“Tents are estimated to sit in a landfill for between 1000 and 10,000 years,” Sellars tells Hypebeat, citing an article from IQ Magazine. “Which made repurposing them into usable outdoor clothing and accessories something I wanted to explore.”
Don’t expect to see Sellars’ outdoor apparel being sold by The North Face or Patagonia any time soon, but her ideas could influence the company that hires her after graduation. Finding ways to make camping gear and clothing more eco-friendly is a major focus of the outdoor industry right now, and her fresh perspective could be a glimpse of the future.
For a closer look at Molly’s designs, check out her online portfolio at notjustalabel.com.