Cult menswear brand Noah has made transparency and sustainability a part of its ethos since (re)launching in 2015. Years-long efforts have made recycled fabrics a bigger part of the brand’s business, and now Noah has found a new way to give its unsold garments a second life.
In partnership with Kyoto Montsuki, a Japanese dye house that’s been in business since 1915, Noah has launched a collection of upcycled garments titled “Not Dead Yet!”. Leftover inventory including hoodies, short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, and trousers have all been dyed jet black to take on a whole new appearance. Patches have also been added to some of the pieces, while the tops have all been given a new graphic that sees Noah’s core logo done up in needle and thread.
Kyoto Montsuki specializes in applying black dye to Japanese formalwear, and it also offers a service that allows customers to bring in their old or stained clothes to be revived with a new coat of black dye. As upycling comes into the forefront of the minds of both consumers and brands, a simple dye job could be a simple solution to extending the lifespan of your clothing.
No discards, no sales — Upcycling in collaboration with Kyoto Montsuki provides Noah a new path forward in its handling of unsold garments. For now, the “Not Dead Yet!” collection is exclusive to Noah’s outposts in Tokyo and Osaka — but we’d love to see upcycling come to the States as an alternative to discarding or discounting leftover stock.
Long before the term “upcycling” became buzzy, Maison Margiela effectively adopted the sensibility out of necessity. Designer Martin Margiela applied white paint to his Tabi boots from previous seasons to create the illusion of something new, and eventually both the silhouette and paint motif would become iconic signatures of the label.
Although going to Japan to shop for Noah’s “Not Dead Yet!” collection might not be a viable option, the small capsule could provide inspiration for your own DIY upcycling project. By just applying some dye, you can completely reframe your clothing that would have otherwise been on the way out.