FACT: I’ve had this dress since I was 11. FACT: I’m 31 now.
While doing a purge in my closet I came upon this dress I had from my childhood. It was one of my favorite things to wear when I was younger because I just loved how the florals made me feel fancy. I have never been able to part with it, no matter how many spring cleaning sessions I’ve done throughout the years. After preparing to donate clothing to my local church, I stumbled upon the dress and decided to try it on. To my surprise, it still fit; it was just stopping at an awkward length below my knee. My sister introduced me to her tailor who cut the dress for me to fall more appropriately on my adult body, and he even gave me the additional fabric to use as a belt. Little did I know I was participating in a sustainable trend known as upcycling. What is upcycling? It’s creating outfits out of existing garments or transforming discarded pieces into something new.
Why should you upcycle your clothing?
– It allows you to be your own fashion designer and explore your creativity
– You reduce the amount of waste going into landfills that’s causing environmental issues
– You save money because you aren’t going out and buying something new
Don’t feel like channeling your inner fashionista by revamping your old clothes? Then, you have a couple of options:
1. You can sell your clothes on sites such as Poshmark or ThreadUp.
2. You can donate your clothes. But, if you do, make sure it is actually in good condition. If a charity or church receives something that’s unusable, chances are they’ll toss it and it will end up in a landfill, defeating the purpose. You can visit the website of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association to learn where you can recycle torn, stained or overly-worn garments.
3. You can purchase your next fashionable item from brands that participate in upcycling. H&M, for example, has a Conscious Exclusive collection that features recycled silver and ECONYL, a 100% regenerated fiber from fishnets and other nylon waste. Another brand, ASOS, has a Reclaimed Vintage line where they rework authentic vintage clothing to modern and trendy designs at affordable prices.
While I’m not saying you should never buy a new outfit you absolutely love, I am saying you should think twice before making a purchase and ask yourself if you really need something new, and reconsider how you are disposing of the items you no longer wish to keep.