Reworked Goods and Brand Owners: A Lesson from Chanel and Nike

  • May 06, 2021
  • Alessia Monastero

Upcycled and reworked fashion has always been on trend, but has never quite been as popular as it has over the last year. With a global pandemic keeping most at home, many fashion entrepreneurs, designers, and artists have seized the opportunity to spend more time perfecting their craft. And with e-commerce being pushed to the forefront of retail - consider Shopify's partnership with TikTok and Pinterest, or Etsy’s accelerated growth with an added 23 million buyers since the end of 2019 - the ability to make, sell, or purchase reworked clothing has become increasingly accessible. While upcycled garments continue to serve as an artistic outlet and sustainable alternative to the apparel industry's massive waste problem, what does reworked fashion mean for trademark and IP owners?

Reworked Fashion: What is it?

Reworked fashion refers to vintage or used clothing, jewellery, footwear, or other apparel, that has been redesigned and repurposed into a new garment. While the materials of recycled clothing must be broken down before they can be reused, upcycled clothing brands use whole pieces of existing garments to create a new product. As a result, many established brands that have invested in the protection of their intellectual property may be less than keen to see their logos, designs, and other distinguishing elements reworked into a new piece of apparel.