We all have clothes in our wardrobe that we never wear. Perhaps they don't really fit, or perhaps our taste has changed since we bought them.
Those of us with kids also know how fast they grow out of their clothes - but equally how they have their favourite t-shirt or shorts that they just don't want to part with.
Upcycling or refashioning clothes is a great way to extend the life of these types of clothes - either as a 'changed' item of clothing or as something completely different.
You can break down clothing upcycling into categories:
- Alterations - where the item of clothing remains the same item, but is changed or altered in some way to make it 'better' or more suited to the wearer.
This could be as simple as adding embellishments to hide stubborn stains or holes.
Or altering the size of the clothing item to fit - perhaps when someone has lost weight, or your style tastes have changed:
- or kids have grown..
- Next comes upcycling clothes into a different clothing item.
For example - a shirt to a dress:
a t-shirt to a dress
or even a sweater to a skirt:
- Finally there's upcycling clothing into something completely different.
There are heaps of examples of clothes upcycled into bags.
Then there's quilts that are made from clothing with special memories.
Jewellery made from old clothes:
And even art.
Upcycling has always been around. Initially it was done out of financial necessity, for example using old worn clothing items to make patchwork quilts. Think of "The Sound of Music, when Maria made clothes for all the children from old curtains! When people couldn't afford to just go out and buy whatever they wanted - they used what they had, upcycled, refashioned and created their own!
Nowadays if your shirt is worn, torn or just just decide you don't like it any more - chances are you'll throw it out and just go and buy a new one.
What a waste!
Not only is clothes upcycling thrifty, but it's also eco-friendly - reducing landfill, chemical pollution, energy consumption and huge amounts of water usage from new fabric and clothing production.
Next week I'm starting a new series of clothes upcycling posts that will look at individual clothing items in turn and ways in which they can be upcycled. I will also add a linky to each post so others can add their own projects and ideas to each theme.
My aim is to create a useful resource that is easy to navigate and find ideas and information to encourage clothing upcycling.
Next week - on June 1st, I'll kick off with looking at upcycling jeans.
In the meantime - please do have a look at the general clothes upcycling linky which has over 600 ideas and projects to browse! A great source of inspiration!
So why not take a look in your wardrobe and clear out some clothes that you never wear! Then come back each week for ideas and inspiration as to what you can do with them!