Alterist is an online marketplace for upcycled products, fueled by a community of designers who add value to existing garments and materials. It is 1 of 13 projects that won the What Design Can Do: Make it Circular Challenge.
It is estimated that 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced every year. From this amount, less than 1% ends up being recycled into new clothing, with the majority being sent to landfill or incineration. Rather than increasing the volume of new goods produced, Alterist is an initiative that aims to add value to garments and materials already existing in circulation.
Alterist does this through an online marketplace that unites a community of 72 designers in the UK and EU who are upcycling products from materials that would have otherwise been discarded. The platform also hosts educational content around sustainability in fashion, including community events, meet-ups and campaigns. In the future, Alterist plans to launch a brand collaboration programme which will give brands, manufacturers, and charity stores an opportunity to creatively utilize their excess stock.
Once collected, Alterist will make the materials available to its network of designers who will transform them into high-quality garments. Through collaboration and creativity, Alterist aims to change people’s perception of textile waste and revolutionize the role of upcycling in the fashion industry.