Crush Of The Week

Discover Up-Fuse, the Egyptian social entreprise transforming waste into Fashion statements

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Up-Fuse is an Egyptian-based brand, that has vowed to supply the fashion market with all kinds of sustainable statement pieces ranging from streetwear, bags, masks, stationary, to footwear. Starting a brand with a vision of sustainability and eco-consciousness, Up-Fuse is also built on a mission of supporting underprivileged people and women. To get to know more about such an inspirational brand that has taken on the fashion industry with great causes, JDEED interviewed Yara Yassin to get a glimpse of the limitations and goals that Up-Fuse encounters and achieves.

By Lynn Awar

What was your vision before you started your company? And would you say now, 6 years after your launch, that you have fulfilled your goals in terms of fashion and sustainability?

My goal was to create a fashion brand made from recycled / disposed items. I always dreamt that Up-Fuse would work with many women, changing mindsets and become an inspiration portal for youth.
Yes, I see the success surrounding my community but I am eager to reach way more people, inspire them to change their behavior in regards to single-use items and alter their perspective regarding local, recycled products.

Why was sustainable fashion the route you decided to embark on? And was the process of deciding what path of sustainability to pursue a hard decision?

As a graduate of Applied Arts and Sciences, I have experimented different materials, nothing challenged me but recycled items. Living in Egypt made the concept of recycling an urgent field to research. We have huge waste management issues. I know I can’t fix them, but I know that I can shed light on them, and help reduce waste. Also, I was raised to be efficient, appreciate nature and its resources, so it was a matter of inner belief and ethics to help restore my community and the planet I live in. Sounds huge but I hardly enjoy working on a project that doesn’t have any social nor environmental impact.

Fast Fashion and its trends are currently skyrocketing with an expected rise in market value to 43 billion dollars in less than 10 years from now. Do you think sustainable fashion has really taken a leap in the past few years? Are people really becoming more environmentally aware?

Yes Gen Z is very aware and super educated. They represent a big part of our market. We are happy and excited for this new eco-aware customer.

Based on your expertise in the field of sustainable fashion, would you say that sometimes the route to sustainability might come at the expense of creating fashionable and trendy designs and fabrics? And what challenges do you face when creating new designs with the pressure to constantly be environmentally conscious?

Actually, I believe that fast fashion shouldn’t be a bench mark. You can’t compare pizza and salmon although both are food. Each fashion movement has its challenges. For slow fashion, there are material limitations sometimes, but the question is , do we really need this material that we are looking for?
Is there another material that is sustainable that can fit the job?
It’s a mindset, but the market unfortunately doesn’t think this way and its so hard for slow fashion to keep up technologically with the pace of fast fashion. Because slow fashion has recently been introduced to the market, it didn’t get enough time to research and develop. It’s in a good place already but there is a huge price-point gap which tends to make us compare fast vs slow. Maybe if we didn’t compare, slow fashion would be in a better position.

How long is the lifecycle of the items you produce ?

3-6 years, depending on usage.

Is it possible to be completely sustainable in the fashion industry? Especially including the issue of dying garments.

Yes, with some color limitation though.

If there is one message you would like to pass along to our readers who are active consumers in the fashion industry, what would it be?

Choose wisely. Fashion statements are nothing but an illusion. Garments with exploited workers are sad garments, because they aren’t made with love.

Discover more about Up-Fuse and shop it on their website, right here!