The idea of upcycling or using used cloth to make new clothes is now no stranger to the world of fashion. Various brands even come up with innovative collections through the upcycling method, one of which is TOTON. How does this fashion label campaign for upcycling fashion through its collection? Here’s the presentation.
Overview of TOTON
TOTON is a women’s clothing label that tries to retell the inherent stories of Indonesia through a new vision. The collection is present in the form of contemporary women’s clothing that explores the natural beauty of the nation and various cultures with modern reinterpretations. TOTON has also always been committed to celebrating heritage while deconstructing tradition through new approaches in ready-to-wear women’s clothing.
The brand was founded in 2012 by Toton Januar and Haryo Balitar, due to their interest in exploring Indonesia through fashion. Based in Jakarta, TOTON offers a unique outlook by projecting new ideas on women’s ready-to-wear.
The collection also uses techniques traditionally used by the Indonesian people and traditional ceremonies. In addition, TOTON reinterprets ethnic fabrics and garments to highlight the classic side of its collections. Pair these elements with menswear-inspired cuts and silhouettes.
Contemporary Collection Through Upcycling
One thing that stands out from the TOTON collection is the use of the upcycling method in some of its exclusive collections. Toton Januar, the designer, reused leftover materials from previous collections. Apart from leftover materials in his studio, Toton also often hunts for used clothes at Pasar Senen or leftover materials in the household environment for his upcycling collection.
Then he made these used materials into a new collection that is contemporary and unique, but does not leave the character of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. We can also see that some of his collections use a lot of patchwork techniques to produce a smoother look.
As with the AS I STAND IN FIRE collection, TOTON presents 10 sets of clothing that have been explored for the conversion of used materials. Household items such as tablecloths, window curtains, and rugs are processed into clothing inspired by the traditional Javanese women’s dress.
Forms of kebaya and long cloth are displayed by mixing and matching with modern pieces of clothing, such as jackets and recycled denim pants. Batik, especially sogan batik with shades of brown that are identical to most traditional Javanese clothing, is presented through a younger and different perspective.
The look of this collection is complemented by long socks decorated with adaptations of classic batik motifs such as Truntum and Hong Bird, and Bust Plates which are the result of translations and crosses of the basic concepts of the two previous collections. Because the design process for this collection is a reaction to the availability of existing materials and to avoid procuring new materials as well as over-production, resulting in each piece of clothing being unique and one-of-a-kind.
Apart from that, Toton is also trying to make the sustainable fashion route that he is following reach a wider audience. For this reason, he sometimes reduces the level of complexity in his collection so that the production process is easier and more efficient. Toton highlighted how in creating upcycle clothing, designers must also have the courage to go against the rules, get out of the norm, and challenge themselves to think creatively.