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Something old, something new? Fashionistas urge industry to use recycled rejects

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The high ceiling of clothing designer Doron Ashkenazi’s studio in the Florentin neighborhood in Tel Aviv is hung with racks upon racks of his Mediterranean-styled men’s clothing, a sea of linen shirts, jackets and pants from seasons past.

“All that surplus?” said Ashkenazi, pointing toward the ceiling. “It’s lost money. Leftover inventory is like a cancer for designers, because what can you do with it?”

As it turns out, quite a lot.

Ashkenazi, a veteran menswear designer who has survived 30 years in the highly competitive local fashion business, is hoping to blaze a path with recycled fabrics.

Using new and used clothing that had been collected, sorted and smartly recycled into new fibers and fabric by Re-Fresh Global, a local textile innovation organization, Ashkenazi recently designed a denim-style jacket out of recycled felted gray fabric flecked with every color.

“It was really easy to work with, flexible and easy to fashion,” he said.

It was a collaborative effort.

Ashkenazi’s wife happened upon the Re-Fresh pilot in Kfar Saba in June, where the innovation organization, supported by the German Embassy in Israel, Bank Hapoalim, H&M, WIZO and the city of Kfar Saba, initiated a pilot to repurpose textile waste. It collected, sorted and prepared 10 tons of clothing for resale, upcycling and smart recycling.

“Racheli Ashkenazi said, ‘Listen, Doron will make a jacket........

© The Times of Israel

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