Cotton crops decimating water sources, fuel guzzling planes crossing oceans and landfills bursting with unwanted clothes – second only to oil, the last few decades have seen the fashion industry rise-up to become one of the biggest polluters in the world. And what is the reason behind the catastrophic rise? Many would say fast fashion. Our relentless hunger for quick and cheap clothing has seen, at the expense of the environment and worker’s rights, huge businesses across the globe scramble to satisfy that growing demand, even if it means cutting corners in the process.
Perhaps in response to this, fashion in 2017 is seeing an upcycling revolution, tsunami its way across the consciousness of young fashionistas everywhere – sustainability is very much on-trend right now. With the transformative magic of embellishments, patches and distressing, it’s time the style conscious become the DIY pioneers of tomorrow. So, ditch the credit cards and pick up the needle & thread instead. Below are the top five ways to upcycle your old clothes:
Here comes the heavy stuff. If you’re a dab hand on the old sewing machine or a wizard with the needle and thread, then step up your outfit game with embroidery – a fashionista’s gorgeous secret weapon. With the power, well and truly in your hands, embroidery offers up a limitless opportunity to let your creativity run wild. In the immortal words of the spice girls, “Spice up your life!”
On this one, I’m saying, grab that bomber jacket and on the back, go all out with some bold floral flare or a giant mystical eye.
Ice creams, unicorns, peace signs; patch working offers up the perfect opportunity to showcase to the world your quirky and creative side. Transform your outfits into your own big, personal, wearable mood board.
On this one, I’m saying go all rebel chick and dust off your parents old and warn Rock ‘n’ Roll patches, to give your modern look much-needed edge and a nostalgia factor.
Master the outdoorsy and rugged look, with well, none of that boring outdoorsy rubbish. This look is great if you want to spend your weekend sitting on your couch and surfing Instagram and come Monday, project the rough and ready coolness of Bear Grills.
On this one I’m saying, don’t stop on a couple of scuffs or ripped knees – heck, go all out, channel the Rambo, make it look as if you’ve just stepped out of a war zone with your fashion chops still very much intact. For a real stand-out look you must bring out the whole arsenal; box cutters, scissors, razors… consider the whole process a free therapy session. You’re welcome.
Add a touch of razzle dazzle, glitz and glamour to your party dress with embellishments. I’m talking sequins, studs and even diamonds – well if you can afford them, to turn your standard LBD into a show-stopping disco ball that wows the fellas.
On this one I’m saying, be bold, let the world awe at your creative vision. Be glam, be Hollywood, treat life as one big red carpet.
Who’d have thought it, stitching two random shirts together would have ignited a high street phenomenal? But why let the fat cats at Topshop and H&M have all the fun, why not get scissors ready and get in on the action too? Mixing & matching breaks all the fashion rules and ensures you always stand-out. Be the boss of your own style.
On this one I’m saying, the more different, the more bizarre the mix the T-shirt or shirts you use, the better. The key to this look – why be like anybody else, when you can be the very fabulous you.