We've seen a surge of brands upcycling deadstock from other factories and making new garms from them, but what about reusing clothes from your own existing collections? 

Well, that's exactly what Gabriela Hearst has done. As a pioneer of fashioning sustainability within the industry, she's partnered with Selfridges for her 'Retro Fit' installation, where she's taken pieces from older seasons and given them an artisanal update. One such touch is the brand's signature blanket stitching newly added, by hand, to cashmere wraps and skirts. Linen silk dresses are dip-dyed by hand in navy, knitted turtleneck gowns are tailored into tunics, and a reversible puffer jacket is updated to include the Hearst crest – which give these classic pieces a unique twist.

Along with the eco-friendly fashion, the whole pop-up is made with a sustainable mindset. Gabriela worked with De la Espada furniture, and the pieces were previously used in globe-trotting exhibitions and photoshoots, eliminating the need to craft new pieces for the display. And as the installation is part of Selfridges' Project Earth initiative – their commitment to change the way the retailer itself shops by 2025 – you can be assured that everything that's a part of this collaboration is as sustainable as it says it is.

To find out more about this new venture, we asked Gabriela to give us the run down.

We love the idea of taking existing pieces and "updating" them with new embellishment such as embroidery or the dip-dying you're doing. We think that this will (hopefully) happen more and more to unsold stock. What are the challenges to this method of 'production'? Will you do this more often with your own collections/stores, rather than just a one-off? 
The challenge is to make a product that is desirable and still beautiful. This is an idea that is an exercise in how we can move ourselves to a circular economy, and of course, it is something that we would love to amplify – the Retro Fit Collection. We are so thankful to Selfridges that let us manifest this idea: this first step and how this collection is being done for the first time, and it’s such an honour to partner with them for this occasion. 

The new bag, re-made from an existing one, with only 7 created for Retro Fit at Selfridges – we love it! What's currently in your bag, both out of necessity but also a treat for yourself?
My life is in my bag. I mean I don’t know where to start… From my sketchbooks, my pens, my erasers, the hand cream, the sunglasses, the reading glasses, the erasable pens, the extra vitamin C, more sketchbooks, money, credit card, some toy for my kids. There’s always something… it’s a lot. That is why we make our bags not only beautiful, but utilitarian. 

It's good to read that all the furniture/carpet is continually being used for your shop/pop-ups/events etc. We love beautiful things and invest in timeless pieces, but how do you recommend thinking about buying NEW? Buy for the rest of your life. Buy something that you would truly like to have for the rest of your life. Buy something that is made well, that means something- that was crafted with care, attention, and quality. Because there is not a lot of space for many things in this world, so if you’re buying something, make sure it has a purpose in your life. 

The installation is running until November 15th, on 2nd Floor of the Selfridges store, at 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB.

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