tHERAPY + recycle & exorcise: (re)Design and Authenticity
Does ‘ethical fashion’ have to follow a certain aesthetic? Not according the the Aguirre sisters and their brand: tHERAPY + recycle & exorcise, celebrating (re)design and authenticity.
We can’t believe, after all of these years that some people still think “ethical fashion” is crunchy or granola. Yes, maybe it does follow a common aesthetic of tunics and muted tones, but not all brands. Especially Berlin-based tHERAPY + recycle & exorcise, a brand on mission to change your mind about what ‘ethical fashion’ looks like.
Interested in pushing boundaries, the upcycled brand melds sustainable fashion and DIY, connecting them with issues of personal communication, self-expression and personal identity. Founded in 2012 by Argentinean sisters Mariángeles and Paula Aguirre, Paula recalls,
Mariángeles was always a vintage fashion and DIY lover, passionate about finding treasures in flea markets, charity shops and second-hand places, while traveling. She was also always creating and reworking things by herself. In 2012 she went through a very difficult period and decided she needed to do something creative in order to push away everything negative and self-destructive. She put together all these things she had collected throughout the years on a table and started reworking and customizing them – almost like an exorcism- she was taking all the bad energy and replacing it with positive- by giving new life to things. Images, moments, movies, places and people came together in her mind, turning into inspiration.
A few months later Paula joined, adding her skills as a Fashion Designer and, as the sisters say, ”the magic therapy was born.” The concept being: a therapy to recycle and exorcise all things negative and turn old things into new, improved and beautiful. Paula also shares,
For us being ethical or sustainable means to be conscious about the impact of our choices and try to make better ones, meaning choosing things which production system is transparent, which are made in a sustainable way. Being ethical also means being critical and pointing out the failures of a system that constantly make us feel dissatisfaction and that abuses of people and natural resources. Buying less, buying better and reusing things are good choices.
Hot off their Berlin Alternative Fashion Week show, we sat down with the sisters and asked them a few of our favorite questions -
What has been the most rewarding since you launched?
To see the growing interest not only in what we do but also in new options that are now available. And also when people come to us and tell us what they think about our work and how they have been inspired. We are very grateful because we get a lot of attention not only as a brand but also as life project.
Describe the tHERAPY + Recycle & Exorcise aesthetic.
We combine two issues: sustainability and self expression with authenticity. The half of our work is to help free people’s minds and research in their own identity, uniqueness. Sex is related to gender and it’s a very important aspect in the lifes of human beings, we should celebrate instead of condemn or hide our sexuality.
What should consumers know about your products?
Our products are our invitation to not think about them as products but as examples or ideas that they can also try to do at home. Or as tools to have more fun and be more authentic and unique.
What’s the best seller and why?
We don’t have a best seller because every piece is unique and normally is one of a kind. We are now starting to repeat techniques but the basic materials we work on will always bring different results.
What do you think the biggest issue in fashion is at the moment – and what are you most passionate about?
The biggest issue is the challenge of changing a very complex and huge structure [the fashion industry] that is like a straight line with a begining and an ending in two opposite sides into a circular system. The bigger the brand the more difficult it is to change.
But we are passionate about the fact that today there is a lot of interest and attention on smaller structures or projects, smaller brands, emerging designers with outsider views that not necesarilly want to become what the big brands are today. Their vision is not based on money in the first place but in providing better options. We are amazed about the huge amount of platforms that support emerging designers.
What’s the future for tHERAPY + Recycle & Exorcise?
In the short term, we are focused on reaching our public and find more selling points inside and outside Germany and Argentina. For the long term, we have started focusing on a fewer techniques so we can produce more of similar items that are successful. But we are aware that we need to keep experimenting in order to remain authentic. We are also searching artists to collaborate.
Shop the brand’s one-of-a-kind pieces through their Facebook shop.