Why is fashion upcycling important? At some point, we have all wanted to do something to contribute to the planet, contribute our little grain of sand and in this way generate an important change. For many years they have been telling us that the ozone layer is thinning; that logging is going to leave us without trees and at the same time, is gradually destroying oxygen.
They have also told us about the bad habits that we have as human beings; and one of these bad habits is our level of consumption. It’s from this theory that the term upcycling arises. Which is nothing more than “reuse”. This concept proposes to extend the useful life of products by modifying them to improve them… it also advocates buying second-hand clothes.
What is upcycling?
It consists of taking advantage of old objects and renew them into objects of better and greater value.
Something like what the brothers do when they buy old houses and renovate them.
Basically, we take things destined to be recycled, but instead of sending them to the recycling bin, we give them new functionality.
I must confess that I am quite delighted with this lifestyle. I spend my time watching 5-minute video ideas for everything because, in addition to clothes, it can also work for a garden and other spaces.
What is upcycling in fashion?
It works as a new recycling trend, and at the same time, it seeks to introduce recycling into our habits as a common act. Remember those extravagant dresses from Lady Gaga? They were quite striking. Well, she is governed by this premise. This technique opens up a new type of more conscious consumption because we discover the fact that utility and value are greater. We will start to extend the useful life of the things we have at home. The idea is to give a second life to all products instead of throwing them away. Imagination is our limit!
Why Start Upcycling?
This question is somewhat complicated, and at the same time easy to answer because it can generate controversy. Fast fashion is all about the rotation of our garments, which will only work in our wardrobe for a limited time.
But, fashion has shown us that at some point everything comes back. Sadly, this is a huge contributor to problems.
Fast fashion encourages excessive consumption based on this premise: buy, use, throw away.
Upcycling gives us the freedom to create a new fashion, seeking to definitively end the mass production of garments. Some statistics say that around 2,700 liters of water are used in a single shirt. Yes, only one!
There’s also the fact that on average, we use only 20% of the clothes that we have in our closet. And boy is this true! These studies affirm that a person buys a garment and wears it between three and four times, and then puts it away or simply disposes of it.
How does upcycling help the environment?
We want to raise awareness and in turn teach people to use the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. The first point would be the most important since it’s necessary to reduce the amount of purchase of new products.
Have you ever wondered what will happen to your shirt, bag, or shoes once you no longer like them? Or when they don’t fit you or they are simply not in fashion?
I would love to know if you have the answer to this question and tell me in the comments.
It turns out that in the short term, we must change the way we buy. We must start by buying things with a legitimate value as well as feasible and versatile uses. Upcycling is the solution for this circular economy model, where resources are used for as long as possible. This way you will get more value while it is in use, to later restore and use them.
How do I apply to upcycle my garments?
This is where the fun part of this article comes in, where we can explore our ingenuity and be creative. As I have told you, imagination is the key to this intervention. First, you can do it with paints by getting your own set of fabric paints. This activity is a lot of fun and everyone at home can participate. Draw designs that you like, from flowers, hearts, sparks of paints. In turn, you can also apply studs, as they come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them are hot glued and some of them are sewn. If you can’t come up with anything, you can use the internet. You will get millions of ingenious ideas that will also help you use them.
Another way to do it is with embroidery with threads, beads, and sequins. You can also apply lace, ribbons, or lace on the cuffs or hems. Plus, if you are not good at sewing or knitting, like I am, you can dye them completely or with some knotting techniques. Aniline is a good option for this, and if not, find some other sustainable way to do it.
You probably already have some ideas in mind, which I love, because I have them too! And I’d love to know if you wear patches for those ripped jeans or pants. After all, this is yet another technique you can use to transform your clothes. You not only give them a fresh look, but you also give it life.
Start cutting pieces!
By this point, you may already have thousands of ideas, and now I will give you more! Yes! More. These are a bit riskier because it involves fully transforming your clothes by cutting them. Mom, hide the scissors!
You can transform a long loose dress into two pieces, a top, and a skirt. On the other hand, you can also turn a man’s shirt into a dress, blouse, or skirt. I insist, Mom, hide the scissors!
Now, if you don’t want to risk too much, you can use a basic shirt to start practicing. Take off the sleeves, shorten the length, sew anything… What you need is the utmost confidence that you are an incredible dressmaker and that you will make incredible pieces!
Finally, recycling or upcycling fashion is the most logical and innovative option, as well as ecological, that we must embrace. The most used material in this trend is recycled polyamide. Most brands get it from waste such as fishing nets, carpets, or scraps, in turn, organic cotton, Tencel lyocell fiber, and sustainable fibers. However, these raw materials aren’t always easy to access but don’t think of this as an obstacle to find useful materials.
Dare to create unique and inspiring designs, where you can capture the attention of trends and generation Y and Z. You will attract more masses and reduce the number of pieces in your wardrobe. Be the savior of fashion and join this trend!
At Fashion trends, we want your opinion. Tell us! How can you recycle your clothes at home? What can you do with those garments you no longer use? Will you restore them? Or gift them? Don’t forget to tell us on our social media.