Uncaged Hero Spotlight: Daisy Harris Burland Brings Life to Discarded Items

“Put your bloody all into it and prove everyone wrong.”

Fashion 
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With the world’s consumption patterns exponentially increasing, the detriment that the resulting waste casts on the planet will become even more problematic. As a result, those who believe in sustaining the Earth’s prosperity have pushed to create awareness around the subject and foster more sustainable practices. Platforming these motifs in her own unique way, Daisy Harris Burland, a Tiger Beer Uncaged Hero, sees the trash as more than a nuisance. To her, it is an abundant material at which she wills to create “intricate, precise, stunning, wearable pieces of art.” In a conversation, HYPEBEAST sat down with Burland to talk about her process, being apart of Tiger Beer’s latest initiative, and her future in fashion.

How has living in Southsea shaped you?

I live about an hour and a half out on the south coast. I’ve realized that for my own sanity and to get maximum creative vibes, I need space, calmness and the sea. There’s something quite special about being in front of a vast stretch of water, feeling so tiny and insignificant to gain a sense of perspective about life. A kick-up-the-ass reminder that I need to do something significant if I want to make a mark on this grubby little thing we call a world.

What led you to fashion?

Well, I was 16 and had my prom coming up. Everyone was forking out the big bucks on dresses, and I didn’t have that sort of money so I went into my kitchen and made a dress with what I found under the sink. This was all very well and good until my friend spilled a drink on me at prom and I was left standing in the middle of the dance floor with my cardboard dress disintegrating around me — I ended up having to go to reception and ask for a substantial amount of duck tape. With the attention and interest that one dress generated, I knew there was a business to be made.

What obstacles did you have to face as you entered fashion?

The school I attended didn’t offer textiles or fashion to study so I studied it in my spare time. I went on to study fashion at uni, but not much had changed and they were like, “Nah, we don’t want you making dresses out of paper. We want you designing for Topshop”. So l dropped out and learned to stick to your guns. If your tummy tells you something is right, even if it feels fucking terrifying, then do it. Put your bloody all into it and prove everyone wrong.

For the wildly imaginative undertakings of yours, where are you finding inspiration to bring ideas like this to life?

I’m inspired by making the impossible, possible. Despite working in fashion, I don’t flip through the fashion mags and get excited by a fancy dress or swanky shoes. It’s more like I’ll go to a scrap yard and salivate when I see there is an engine for a tenner. Its all about the materials and bringing new life to something that might otherwise be thrown away.

Why is challenging the conventions of fashion important to you?

My constant challenge is turning three-dimensional materials into something beautiful and wearable without losing the origins of the source. It’s about making “trashion” into something not looked down on. I’m not talking “trashion” in the sense of, “I love the planet, let’s trail tin cans off the back of a bin bag dress,” I’m talking about intricate, precise, stunning, wearable pieces of art — high fashion. They just so happen to be made out of recycled materials.

Could you explain what your design process is like?

I work straight onto the mannequin. The shape and silhouette of the dress come together as the build progresses. I rarely draw a design; I like it this way as I have no idea what the end result will look like when I first start. It’s addictive, it’s anarchic, it’s instinctive. It’s me.

I believe anything is possible with any material, you just have to push it to the absolute limits.

You’re bold and unabashedly express yourself, how does your personality manifest itself in what you create?

I’m headstrong and impulsive. I know what I want and I won’t be stopped until I get there. My designs and dresses definitely embody this mentality. I believe anything is possible with any material, you just have to push it to the absolute limits. I push myself to the limits with every creation. This means trying things that have never been done before and finding a way to make it work. It’s beautifully chaotic, from start to finish.

In what ways do you hope to inspire the world through your creative prowess?

I just want people to realize that anything is possible. People live in these weird confines that “different is dangerous” or that some ideas are just too “out there.” I say BS. Just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t make it bad. I want people to keep asking questions, wanting more and challenging the norm.

I’m obsessed with what I do and it’s ingrained in me.

What has Tiger Beer’s platform provided for you?

Oh my god, its provided me the most incredible platform. It gave me a voice. It’s so difficult being an independent designer without a sugar daddy or secret money vault. I want people to see what I do; I want them to love it and be as amazed as I am. I’m obsessed with what I do and it’s ingrained in me. I’ve got a bloody PVA glue bottle tattooed on my arm for god’s sake. My work is me which is scary and exposing, but when people get to see and appreciate my creations, it’s so freaking worth it.

What have you learned from the other Uncaged Heroes?

Being involved with the others I learned that regardless of the creative output, or discipline we work in, the drive that fuels us is all the same. A desire to live at a constant intensity, all striving through a need to create.

What do you think you will take away by being apart of Tiger’s initiative?

I think I’m going to come away with faith. It’s made me believe that people do actually want to help and support upcoming artists. The creative industry is such a difficult one to be in and at times so demoralizing that you want to pack it all in, but being part of Tiger’s initiative has instilled some trust back into the industry for me.

Global waste is set to increase 70% by 2025, how should the fashion industry incorporate sustainability to lessen its impact on the world?

I think when it comes to global industries making an impact, its key to remember that nobody is too small to make a change. People think, “Oh, me recycling a can won’t make a difference,” so they end up not doing it at all. It’s bollocks. Fashion is so influential in everyone’s lives so the key is to raise awareness around the subject. Anything from ad campaigns to ensuring a brand never uses plastics in there packaging all help.

Your work seems to not be hindered by materials, as through your process you developed the ability to give new life to discarded objects. What would you say to creatives that believe that they lack the materials to make?

I would say, bullshit. If you’ve got the idea, then you’ve got all the materials you need. You can make anything out of anything. A painting out of a coffee stain, a den out of chopsticks or a dress out of bin-bags. If you’ve got the core thought, then you’ve got everything you need.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring designer, what would it be?

Go with your gut, and I’ve got wicked IBS so me saying that goes for a lot.

For more information on Daisy, head over to her website. Also, be sure to submit your music, if you’re in the US, to Uncaged Nights’ website, and to learn more about The Uncaged Campaign, check Tiger Beer’s website.

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