Many events in April are related to Fashion revolution movement. Hungarian brand CIRRhopp recycle is a very good example of slow fashion approach and original hand-made design. On balbodebra blog you can win beautiful upcycled bracelette from CIRRhopp collection. Let me introduce you this local brand through an interview with its founder – Kinga Balogh.
When and why have you decided to set up a brand CirrHopp Recycle?
It all happened in 2011 when I wanted to recycle and process my leftover clothes in a creative way. So I started this upcycling project by discovering new possibilities and exploring new methods how jersey clothes can be transformed into “T-shirt yarns”.
Is this your primary job now? What was your occupation before CirrHopp period?
Yes, I have been doing this for living. My previous job was connected to the financial field at multinational company.
What materials do you use during your art-work of upcycling? Where all of them come from?
I mostly use old or unwanted T-shirts for necklaces and bracelettes. I also collect and transform empty PET bottles from sodas into earrings. Usually they come from my local environment, from my customers, as well as charity organizations.
What is the most popular product from your collection?
POP necklaces made out from colorful T-shirts and Plabodot earrings made out from transparent PET bottles.
How do people react to your upcycled jewelry?
In my country people are well informed and aware of environmental issues, so reusing / reducing / recycling +/- upcycling topic is familiar to them. Nowadays I can see the most important change in their behaviour – that do not wonder about my products, they want to buy them.
I met you personally at one of Visegrad urban market in Bratislava. How did you like the idea of market and what brands and products did you like there the most?
It was a great possibility for Hungarian designers to show their brands portfolio in Bratislava and develop some cooperations with Slovak designers, organizers, shop-owners etc.. I like it so much. And my favorite Slovak brand? Veroin jewelry.
Good choice! My wedding ring is from Veroin’s portfolio. How do you describe local design and slow fashion production in Hungary?
In the period of last five years Hungarian fashion and product designers have become more focused on eco-consciousness, ethics and transparency of their brands. We are responsible not only for our closest environment, but we want to show a comprehensive, more global picture of fashion industry to our customers. We want to offer them a possibility of choice, such as slow design and slow fashion, recycling and upcycling techniques at fashion shows, design markets, showrooms.
You also organize workshops related to recycling and upcycling. What is a target group and what is the feedback from participants?
This year I am going to hold a workshop once a month. The target group is highly diverse. There are kids, housewives, young girls, but also company leaders or elderly people among the participants. The most important characteristic feature of all these people is their sense of responsibility for their environment. They are always very enthusiastic about upcycling techniques that I show them – from cutting old T-shirts, making yarns, through ordering colors, up to sewing chosen pieces and designing final look of fabric jewelry. After the workshops they go home and can’t stop making fabric jewelry on their own. What a feedback for me!
|Ms Kinga Balogh - the founder of Hungarian brand CIRRhopp recycle|
What are your future plans related to your brand progress or workshops structure?
Together with my friend, co-worker and foot-wear designer Franka I am going to organize an upcycling shoe-making workshop. In next few weeks we will show workshops’ participants how to make their own moccasins, sandals by using recycled and upcycled materials. This is very unique approach in Hungary or maybe even in the entire Europe. Besides that we are planning to repeat these workshops and prepare some kind of DIY-kit for summer season too.
How you will contribute to Fashion revolution week in Hungary this year?
During Fashion Revolution week I would like to emphasize the importance of slow design / slow fashion and share this idea among my followers at social networks. I will definitely recommend ‘True Cost’ movie to them. Everything related to my brand ‘CirrHoppRecycle’ is made by me – from primary research, pilot design, through materials collection and preparation, actual production and whole marketing (advertising, tabling at markets, online selling) up to teaching the upcycling methods. I can proudly and honestly say: “I (really) made your jewelry.”
Written by: Boba Markovic Baluchova & Kinga Balogh, Photo: CirrHopp Recycle brand