Have you recently made quite a few impulsive buys? Or are you just not able to fit into your clothes anymore? Perhaps your clothes are out of trend? Fret not - you don’t have to dump it all away. There’s another solution: upcycle it!
Upcycling (aka creative reuse) is the process of transforming a clothing item to make it better than the original. It is now a growing trend and is one of the most sustainable things people do in Fashion.
Well, just take a clothing item that doesn’t fit anymore, or is stained or damaged, and refashion it into something wearable instead of throwing it away!
The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world, next to oil. Reports suggest that growing cotton alone uses 22.5% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides, which can be dangerous for the environment and the farmers who grow it.
Taste is subjective — what is trash to one may be seen as fashionable to another, and what is considered to be beautiful may be considered to be ugly.
Upcycling challenges people’s perceptions. Because upcycling reuses existing clothing, it often gains the stigma of ‘second-hand’ or ‘old and ‘unwanted’. But that’s not necessarily the case — it’s a way to give new life to worn-out clothes, which provides you with your own unique one-of-a-kind piece you can truly call your own.
Bought a tee on sale, only to realise it was too small? Simply cut out the side seams, grab a spare piece of printed fabric lying around to form a panel on each side.
Find your jeans too plain? Found a hole in your favourite pair of jeans? Try DIY-ing your own lace or fishnet insert jeans to give it a little more spunk. You can easily do this by sewing (or gluing) a piece of lace or fishnet behind the hole.
Watch how it’s done here on:
Embellish them with pearls/patches of fabric shapes to hide what you don’t want others to see.
The waist of your jeans don’t fit, but everything else does? Cut a slit on the inside of the back waistband (without cutting through the entire band). Slip in an elastic and sew down the ends of the elastic.
An old t-shirt that’s sitting at the bottom of your dresser which you don’t use Cut strips off the bottom of a t-shirt (slightly stretchy), tug on it to let the edges curl in. Braid the strips and use it as a headband!
Reformation is a L.A.-based fashion company which reuses vintage clothing and fabric from fashion houses that have over-ordered. They use eco-friendly fabrics to create sexy, sophisticated styles – they even make wedding dresses (who would've known)!
From Levi’s denim, pre-loved leather and vintage fabrics from luxury fashion houses, Reclaimed Vintage upcycles the old into new limited-edition collections.
TRMTAB cleverly uses scraps of leather to create beautifully woven bags and electronics cases, which helps to reduce the amount of leather scraps which end up in landfills.
By upcycling their denim production, Triarchy Atelier managed to save over a million gallons of water. Not only is Triarchy Atelier eco friendly, but they’re also ethical because they focus on giving back through their charity partner, Isla Urbana, that provides fresh drinking water to people in Mexico.
Bottletop Fashion uses aluminium ring pulls from drink cans to upcycle them into glamorous clothing and accessories! How innovative is that?
If you want to find out more about courses like these, check out our Manage Sustainable Fashion Value Chain course or our website!
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