Upscale Upcycle

Etat Libre D'Orange & Marine Serre 

"The brand continuously challenges the expected within the luxury industry through the story told by the fragrance as well as the materials involved in the process."

       Etat Libre D’Orange is invigorated by the unimagined, illustrated through the launch of the fragrance I Am Trash.  As the name indicates, the scent is created from decomposed waste through a method known as upcycling. Crafting a perfume from waste appears contradictory; perfume is meant to please, rather than repel our sense of smell. However, the fragrance accomplishes the unexpected, morphing waste into beauty. Etat Libre D’Orange seeks inspiration and uses from all aspects of life, including the undesired.The brand continuously challenges the expected within the luxury industry through the story told by the fragrance as well as the materials involved in the process. As climate change and waste accumulation remain a dire societal concern, the brand took the plunge to create without furthering the issue. The fragrance utilizes this modern method of production that can satisfy the consumer without degrading the environment.  

       Beyond perfume, upcycling is utilized within the luxury fashion industry with brands such as Marine Serre. Prior to the creation of her line, Marine Serre asked herself, “Why does the world need another fashion brand?”. Although Marine recognized the wasteful nature of the fashion industry, her creative thirst persisted. 

As with Etat Libre D’Orange, she sought to address the issue at hand with this new form of production, enabling her to create unapologetically. The garments are crafted into a desired aesthetic from undesired textiles. The production process is at the forefront of the designers’ concern. Marine appropriates countless vintage silk scarves as the foundation of her garments. The materials range beyond silk as she utilizes fabrics from cotton shirts to wet suits, granting these once constructed clothing pieces a second life. Despite the revitalization of these pieces, the designer is able to radically change the appearance of the garments through reconstruction. Etienne similarly transforms the rotten waste as his sole material to a sweet fragrance. The scent contains hints of rose, cedar, wood, and citrus, reflecting floral tones. The fresh scent is not held to rigid gender boundaries, as it a unisex fragrance all may enjoy. The creativity of Etienne and Marine are presented on full display through this innovative form of production. Thus, Etat Libre D’Orange and Marine Serre uphold fantasy through their inventive design while respond to our new reality, inserting upcycle into these upscale industries.


“Why does the world need another fashion brand?”
Marine Serre 


Etat Libre D'Orange X Ogilvy Campaign 

Etat Libre D’Orange collaborated with Oglivy, a British advertising, marketing, and public relations agency to promote the upcycled fragrance, I Am Trash. Since the fragrance utilizes waste, the brand agreed that the advertisements should also be composed of upcycled materials. The creators took various upcycled advertisements of the company and reconstructed cutout pieces in a collage manner. The newly designed advertisements were plastered throughout Paris, promoting this new phenomenon within production.


Written by Claudia Morgan

from The Modern Renaissance

Arts and pop culture blogger exploring the world of niche fragrances and their relevant impact.




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