Student recycles old make-up to produce sustainable womenswear

A student who repurposes old make-up to produce sustainable clothing says she hopes her creations illustrate the “infinite possibilities” of recycling.

For four years London student Anika Verma has collected discarded pigments, such as eyeshadow palettes, from her local community and rubbish tips to create prints for womenswear.

The 21-year-old sources the material for her tops from a shop in Southall which stocks leftover sample or damaged fabrics from the fast fashion industry.

“As the beauty industry has blown up the amount of waste it produces has become a huge environmental issue,” the designer and student at Central Saint Martins, a college of the University of the Arts London, told the PA news agency.

“I am excited to show people the benefits and uniqueness of slow fashion.

“The key message of this project is to show people that there is infinite possibility when it comes to recycling and reusing.”

Much of the make-up Ms Verma uses passed its expiry date years before.

Ms Verma, who sells the tops individually online, prevents her prints from smudging using a sealant she says is non-toxic and was chemically designed by herself.

“I’m quite hesitant to share the exact hows and whats … I’ve already had a handful of people who work for bigger fashion companies try and get it out of me,” she said.

Her tops feature a face design which she says she has been drawing for years and used to draw “almost every day” at school.

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she was very long to sew

A post shared by Anika (@anikaleila) on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:53am PDT

“When I was 16 or 17 I had a weird dream and this face was a significant part,” she said.

“I’m almost certain that if we went back to my old school today we would find at least three of the faces drawn onto a wall or desk.”

Ms Verma said she would “encourage anyone” to think about the possibilities of repurposing old items.

“We need to start acting now and fast, before the damage we do to our planet destroys our wildlife and ecosystems beyond repair,” she added.