Looking for a way to up-cycle your clothing in a fashionable way? Wish there was an organization out there that had more change-the-world power and fashion sense than your local donation dump? Meet TRAID. TRAID stands for Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development and has 3 ambitious goals they set forth when starting out ten years ago:
- To protect the environment by diverting clothes and shoes from landfill;
- To reduce world poverty by raising funds for overseas development projects; and
- To educate the UK public on environmental and world poverty issues.
With the onset of affordable trendy clothing shops we have been given the chance to afford fashion without the runway prices. The problem with this mass production and budget friendly clothing is that we often do not regret wearing the items once or twice then dismissing thm to the back of our closet or, much worse, the landfill. This is where TRAID decided to step up. After rescuing these clothes from drop boxes placed around London, thy are taken to a well kept store that is enjoyable to shop.
A few years back, TRAID increased their market potential and flexed their design muscles with TRAIDremade. Using textiles of the donated clothing, TRAID designers rebuild the fabrics into fabulous new pieces. Until recently you had to be an England resident to peruse all of of their fantastic products but a collaboration with Fashion Conscious has made it possible for those of us state side to participate. FashionConscious.com will now be selling TRAID products through their online store. The prices are very reasonable and the fashions are fabulous.
There are several aspects that set TRAID apart from your average vintage store. In addition to giving new life to the clothing, TRAID is dedicated to educating and aiding communities around the globe. Since 2004, funds raised from the clothing been donated to alleviate countries wiped out by natural disasters such as the 2005 Tsunami and the Mynamar Cyclone of 2008.
In addition to their impressive retail division, TRAID has committed to provide education to others wanting to learn about sustainable fashion processes. Team members of TRAID give regular fashion workshops as well as lectures at universities in the London area. For those of us geographically challenged, TRAID has produced a beautiful ‘Behind the Seams‘ educational package that provides lesson plans, videos, posters and puzzles that enable teachers to give their own workshops internationally.