As we are getting more concerned about our environment, new trends are rising everywhere to reduce waste on our planet. In the fashion industry, one of these developed in the past years and is called upcycling. It origins from the concept of recycling, only the expected outcome is different. Instead of making waste into other materials, the waste materials get redesigned and transformed into a better version of the old product. To explain what upcycling means, let's look at other ways to call it, like for example creative reuse. It means that waste materials like old clothing, fabric etc are reused and transformed into something trendy to wear. This concept can also be applied to other industries like technology and electronics. The idea is to change what you don’t like or can’t use anymore into something you like or need. Many designers now create full collections of upcycled clothing and we are all for it.
Benefits of upcycling:
Not only does upcycling prevent waste build up but by reusing old materials and pieces of clothing, fabrics do not need to produce new materials and in the process waste natural resources like water. This leads to the reduction of air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Since the earth’s natural resources are already running very low, this is a great way to make them last longer.
Next to the environmental benefits, upcycling lets us appreciate handmade, creative work and the beauty of old things more. We have the opportunity to learn not to throw away everything so quickly but try to transform it into something new, we can love again. In our opinion, we have been taking natural resources and products for granted without realizing what it does to our planet. By seeing talented designers and people transforming old things into new, high-value things, our creativity gets sparked and hopefully, more people will start to upcycle. The lifestyle we live today, where we run from place to place, not enjoying time and losing our minds is, as many know, not healthy for us. Slowing down and working on something mindfully can not only make a fun time but can actively help us stay sane and productive. Heal your mind while saving the planet. Sounds like good times to us!
Upcycling ideas to do at home:
Wood palettes are a great example for upcycling. They are endlessly transformable and easy to handle. They can be used as headboards for beds, table tops, pot holders for plants and many other things. Here a link to find more ideas: https://www.thespruce.com/diy-wood-pallet-projects-4157685
Old toys your kids don’t play with anymore are another great example for upcycling. You would be surprised what can be done with little figures and dolls. They can become bookends, candle holders or clothing hooks. Follow the link for more ideas: https://www.thespruce.com/things-to-make-with-toys-1104013
A fashion example could be to transform an old jacket into a trendy vest or old jeans into cool, distressed shorts. The possibilities are endless and the good thing is, if it goes wrong, you are not losing anything. Why not try to make something that you wanted to throw away anyway into something new before. The best part is, you don’t even necessarily need to be handy with the sewing machine. So imagine what you could to with one. Here link to some ideas on how to transform old clothes into new ones: https://thesewingloftblog.com/100-ways-to-upcycle-your-clothing/