Upcycling is one of the latest trends in eco-living. But what does it mean for your wardrobe? Here is all you need to know about upcycling and how to make it your new fashion motto.
What does upcycling mean?
Upcycling involves converting waste materials or useless products into new, more valuable items. So, it is about being creative and transforming the old into something new and fabulous!
When it comes to shopping for new clothes, we are often urged to buy clothing that is made from green fabrics, such as organic cotton. But you don’t always have to bring new items into your wardrobe in order to be more eco-friendly. A way to ensure that your fashion sense has a green makeover is to turn your unwanted items into something fashionable.
Besides, even if you are buying more eco-friendly clothing, your current items have to go somewhere – and that place need not be the trash! Upcycling can be fun, creative and doesn’t have to take much effort.
Benefits of upcycling
- It prevents unnecessary waste in the environment. You might forget about the old clothes you toss into the trash, but they end up becoming waste that clogs up our environment.
- You gain a new item of clothing that you can wear without having to buy something new. This means new clothing at little or no cost!
- It encourages originality, which is a crucial element of an eco lifestyle. By being more creative you can inspire yourself and those around you by valuing what you already have.
The 3 upcycle questions to ask
If you have a heap of clothing that you don’t want to wear anymore, look at each garment critically and think of what you can do with it. Ask yourself the three upcycling questions:
- Is there any use for it? Any use at all? If that old shirt your man hates is heading for the trash and you certainly don’t see a fashionable way to wear it, then why not turn it into a funky cushion or seat cover?
- Could you make the item look better or prettier? Simple things can help to boost old clothing, such as adding embellishments.
- If the answer to both of the above is no, then ask yourself: Shouldn’t I donate this item to someone who could benefit from it? There are many charities that would be happy to have your recycled goods.
How to upcycle your wardrobe in three easy ways:
Extreme makeover made simple
If you don’t like an item of clothing, see if it – or any part of it – can be re-used. For instance, you might not like a black sequined top you own, but perhaps the sequins could be taken off and used on another top or even as bling for a bra. Often we toss out entire items without thinking about how their smaller compartments could prove useful.
Be a fashion chameleon
Try to imagine how the item could be changed so that you can still wear it. For instance, you might have a patterned dress that would look better if you turned it into a skirt. Another example is a pair of jeans that aren’t very flattering but could be turned into shorts for summer. Think out the box or Google some upcycling ideas before you toss the offender into the trash.
Repair means recycle
Sometimes a bit of repairing can help to mend items that still have life in them. For instance, if something has a hole in it or needs to be hemmed, you could use basic sewing skills to give it new life. If you want to be daring, you could even go one step further by covering up the hole with a funky bow or trendy broche. Such additions don’t have to cost a lot of money and they really can turn wonky into wow!