IMAGES VIA @SKIN BUG/ INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT




“The material holds back an arduous journey of change and transformation, ultimately metamorphosing into its final state – much like an insect.”

Sometimes billboards can look good. Yes, most of the time they serve as a big horror to the capitalist highway – but sometimes they play a thought-provoking art role. Three particular cases come to mind: in the movie Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (big movie), in this public art campaign and in their colorful settings, decomposed, reconstituted Bug skin form.

What is Bug skin, you ask? “A multi-faceted label exploring the process of upcycling and sustainability,” says Melbourne designer Nick Chin. After learning more than 50,000 kilograms of Pvc rots in our already scarce landfill space every year, Nick began experimenting with recycling vinyl from discarded billboards.


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After a long process of trial and error, Nick began to create Bugskin’s practical yet conceptual bags (with his aptly named “Cicada” and “Grasshopper” styles). Using ethical thinking and structural design, Bugskin brings his unique form of “material makeover” to Melbourne’s diverse fashion scene.

How was the label born? Tell us about the process and the challenges.

I have always been passionate about the marriage of fashion and sustainable development. After several failed attempts, I consolidated what I was trying to achieve and narrowed it down to “why”? I wanted to reduce the mess we created by giving a second life to what many saw as waste.

While researching billboards, I discovered over 50,000 kilograms of PVC vinyl rot in our landfill each year. I noticed the durability and vibrant colors offered by the display panels and spent the following months designing and executing the Cicada and the Grasshopper bags, the first stop on the Bugskin journey.

How would you describe Bugskin to someone who has never seen him before?

Bugskin is a multi-faceted label exploring the process of upcycling and sustainability. He experiments with texture and color through design and practicality, while also helping to help the world heal.

Dream Australian collaborators?

I am always open to collaboration. If our ideas match, don’t hesitate to send me a message!

What would you like to know when you started?

All good things grow organically, and you should always set aside time for creativity. When I first started Bugskin what I found difficult was balancing the different tasks involved in creating a label.

I had a direction I trusted, but it was powerful in the way I applied pressure to it. By letting go and trusting the creative process, I learned what worked for me and was able to grow from it.

What about the Australian fashion industry that needs to change?

It’s great to see the Australian fashion industry thrive. There are many amazing collaborations and many designers are starting to think outside the box. I have always been inspired by our local talents and am proud of the creative growth of our country.

As we continue to navigate ideas and trends, I think it’s important for designers to consider sustainability and be aware of the damage the industry is doing to our healing world. Especially the fast fashion industry. If we collectively make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, it would make an amazing difference.

Where does the name come from?

The name Bugskin is derived from the idea of ​​growth. The material holds back an arduous journey of change and transformation, ultimately metamorphosing into its final state – much like an insect. “Skin” was included because it is commonly used in billboard jargon (as a way to describe the material).

How can we buy one of your parts?

You can buy a part through our online site. We drop our products every two to three weeks and constantly update our catalog; make sure you stay up to date via our Instagram (@ bug.skin). You can also purchase our parts through Suction cup, which is located on Sydney Rd in Brunswick. We hope to spread more bugs in the new year.

What are you most proud of in your work on your label?

I take great pride in the distinctive nature of the product. The process of creating this was discovered through months of trial and error, which has now manifested into a sentiment that sums up Bugskin.

Anything else to add?

Confidence in the process and gradual change will become something big.

Browse the entire Bugskin collection here.



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