Global clothing production has doubled in the last 15 years to keep with consumer demands. But with over 80 billion pieces of clothing being consumed globally every year, is the damage to the environment worth it to be stylish for a week?
Rather than aimlessly feeding into fast fashion, we can do things like purchase garments with more eco-friendly materials or upcycle our existing clothes instead of buying new. Looking at garments creatively that you would otherwise throw away can give you a new perspective on sustainability.
From lengthening short garments to using old clothes to create a cushion cover, all these upcycle DIYs are beginner friendly and the perfect way to get started with recycled fabrics and trims from your unwanted garments.
The most understated garment trim that’s so simple to switch up. Buttons on a jacket or blazer can dramatically change the look of the overall attire. Whether you opt for some metallic military-style buttons or something dainty and elegant, buttons are easy to sew and can make a big impact.
Most new clothes that have buttons on usually have an extra few sewn loosely onto the label in case any fall off. Keep these safe as they can come in handy for lots of other button DIYs.
Shirts from your favourite bands or nostalgic childhood that have sentimental value don’t have to sit in your wardrobe being mauled by moths. Instead of donating them to a charity shop, you can create a cosy quilt out of them that’s ideal for the colder months.
Armed with some fusible iron-on interfacing fabric, these shirts are good to be cut to size and made into a cosy souvenir. If you don't have access to a sewing machine, this upcycling project might take a little longer, but the extra effort is definitely worth it for the warmth and memories that come with it.
Things shrink in the wash or we naturally outgrow them, but if your favourite piece of clothing is coming up short, then there are ways you can salvage it. To accomplish this upcycle, you’ll need minimal sewing experience.
Shorts, skirts and dresses can all be saved with a little lace for added modesty. It’s a simple way to lengthen a garment and extend its lifespan. Crafting stores carry various lace trims to choose from and they’re typically quite inexpensive.
Add a unique touch to an old jacket by personalising it with embroidered badges, pin badges or leather patches. They’re an innovative way of adding something special to an otherwise plain piece of clothing.
Pin badges were a hit in the 90s but have recently stormed back in style with quirky pop culture references and easy wearability. For such a little accessory, they make a big impact.
Whether it’s upcycling your garments or actively seeking clothing brands that work towards a more sustainable future, doing your part can reduce the amount of waste the industry produces.
Eco-friendly manufacturers, like Weavabel, can help too. These manufacturers are committed to providing greener solutions such as offering sustainable product ranges and materials.
Global textile production produces 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, which is more than international flights and maritime shipping combined. But with thrifting apps like Depop and Poshmark on the rise, it's apparent the fashion-conscious are becoming more aware of the impact they're potentially having on the environment.
Something as simple as upcycling can be a mindful choice - you’re never too small to make a difference to the environment.