Upcycling (no nothing to do with bikes) is when you take something used and add something or change something to make something new, fresh, and one-of-a-kind. When it comes to fashion, the art of upcycling can create hip clothing, bags, shoes and accessories that are a little bit trendy, a little bit retro, and a whole lot of sustainable.
This is how it works. You pop into your local trendy upscale thrift store and across the room your eagle eye spots a sexy sweater in a great color, but alas, there’s damage on one of the sleeves. Your ever-roaming eagle eye spots a pretty, sheer, flowery blouse on the next rack, but it has a small stain on the front. You realize that one of the flowers on the blouse is the exact same color as that sweet sweater you just passed by. You grab-up both pieces, take them up to the cash register (perhaps respectfully asking if you can get a discount because both pieces are damaged), and take your purchases home.
At home, you carefully remove the sleeves from both the sweater and the blouse. Then, you sew the blouse sleeves onto the sweater, and viola! You have yourself a flirty, cool, one-of-a kind top. You will be crowned queen of the fashionistas, and I guarantee your friends will want to know where you bought that cool top……but feel free to keep your secret……we won’t tell.
Now, to be honest, I don’t sew, so if you don’t possess the skills to sew on a button either, let alone sew on new sleeves, don’t worry your pretty little head. There are talented, inspired, eco-loving, upcyclers that create and sell fabulous pieces so all you have to do is flash that Am-x.
Etsy – Etsy is the place on the web for one-of-a-kind items. Search under the clothing category for hundreds of upcycled fashions. A couple of stand-out sellers of upcycled fashion on Etsy include Broken Ghost Couture and Darryl Black.
reMade USA – reMade upcycles old leather coats into new leather bags and other leather accessories.
Artfire – Search for “upcycled” within the clothing category, and you’ll come up with some groovy choices.
If you happen to be a talented seamstress…….show us your cool upcycled threads!