It’s ironic that Preloved, the country’s OG upcycled-clothing brand, had a waste problem. But that’s what happened when one of its best clients had a “No red” clause written into its processing-order agreement. After more than 21 years of sorting through bundles of sweaters at its office and factory in Toronto’s east end, the company had collected 20,000-plus vintage red sweaters. “We had cages and cages of them, and we just kept them around,” says founder Julia Grieve. “We moved them from factory to factory, and we probably had them washed three times.” Preloved’s head designer, Yuko Takanishi, dreamed up a solution to get them out of the red, so to speak. Takanishi, who was born in Hiroshima, Japan, created The Heart Collection, which she says was partly inspired by the Canadian and Japanese flags. The popular line consists of tops, sweatshirts, mitts and scarves adorned with red hearts. The Mi Corazon sweater, which is new for spring, is a slight departure for Preloved because it uses new French terry for the body and material from two red sweaters for the heart. “If Preloved were to have a flag, it would most definitely have a red heart in the middle,” says Grieve.
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