Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Upcycle Guidebook: Creating a Sustainable Women’s Wear Collection from Men’s Dress Shirts

  • Evelyn Rossol (Kent State University)
  • Margaret Busche (Kent State University)
  • Chanjuan Chen (Kent State University)


The purpose of developing this upcycle guidebook was to design and develop instructions for semi-standardized upcycled garments so that the upcycled items could be duplicated repeatedly by fashion production teams. The researchers studied different methods of upcycling in the fashion industry, then prototypes were produced. A capsule collection of five garments were included in the guidebook. The instructions were tested by twenty-two fashion students at a mid-west university from an upper-level production class and from a basic sewing class. There was much enthusiasm for the book and participants were able to duplicate the process and create an almost identical garment from a different men's shirt. To address any problems participants were having with the guidebook instructions, the researchers added a legend for different processes and included demos for key construction techniques. As textile waste continues to increase in the fashion industry, it is increasingly important for the industry to explore more efficient ways of upcycling.

Keywords: sustainability, fashion production

How to Cite:

Rossol, E., Busche, M. & Chen, C., (2019) “Upcycle Guidebook: Creating a Sustainable Women’s Wear Collection from Men’s Dress Shirts”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi:

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Published on
15 Dec 2019