Upscale Upcycle: Etat Libre D’Orange X Marine Serre

Etat Libre D’Orange I Am Trash Campaign

Etat Libre D’Orange is invigorated by the unimagined, illustrated through the launch of the fragrance I Am Trash.  As the name indicates, the scent is created from decomposed waste through a method known as upcycling. Crafting a perfume from waste appears contradictory; perfume is meant to please, rather than repel our sense of smell. However, the fragrance accomplishes the unexpected, morphing waste into beauty. Etat Libre D’Orange seeks inspiration and uses from all aspects of life, including the undesired.The brand continuously challenges the expected within the luxury industry through the story told by the fragrance as well as the materials involved in the process. As climate change and waste accumulation remain a dire societal concern, the brand took the plunge to create without furthering the issue. The fragrance utilizes this modern method of production that can satisfy the consumer without degrading the environment. Beyond perfume, upcycling is utilized within the luxury fashion industry with brands such as Marine Serre. Prior to the creation of her line, Marine Serre asked herself, “Why does the world need another fashion brand?”. Although Serre recognized the wasteful nature of the fashion industry, her creative thirst persisted. As with Etat Libre D’Orange, she sought to address the issue at hand with this new form of production, enabling her to create unapologetically. The garments are crafted into a desired aesthetic from undesired textiles. It is apparent that  Etat Libre D’Orange and Marine Serre uphold fantasy through inventive design while responding to our new reality, inserting upcycle into the upscale industry.

Why does the world need another fashion brand?
— Marine Serre
Josh Kline, Skittles, 2014

Josh Kline, Skittles, 2014

Skittles by Josh Kline housed in NYC’s MoMA presents what appears to be smoothies cased in a lit refrigerator. Within the smoothies, the artist blends highly synthetic materials and chemicals. The piece serves to comment on the fabric of our livelihoods and the toxicity of current consumption. Waste is upcycled within this artwork as both a practical a symbolic material, consistent with our modern circumstances.

Claudia Morgan