In the fashion realm, the term “upcycling” refers to transforming unwanted or unused garments into new products. In other words, it is about employing your creative flair to minimise waste by increasing the lifespan for clothes you have fallen out of love with.
In the last few years and with the pandemic also playing a role, upcycling and mending has gained momentum, given it’s an activity which has helped people feel present while championing sustainable practices. Upcycling does not necessarily require advanced sewing skills, which is likely why Tik Tok has seen a large influx of catchy videos of people modifying and transforming clothes into something they like. And on YouTube, you can also find several videos about upcycling or “thrift flipping” where sewing is not involved. You can watch one of them by following the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_qc6UaJ4xA
It really shows the possibilities are endless and you have the freedom to experiment and let your imagination run wild! Upcycling also allows you to transform a garment into something that has a different purpose, such as a cleaning cloth or a tote bag. Our “Beatrice Bayliss” YouTube channel shows you how you can create a tote bag and you can do so by using fabric from clothes you no longer want to wear. For this one you can use a sewing machine if you have one, however hand stitching will work perfectly fine. Check it out here!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX2Ue7Zr9A8
Ultimately, upcycling falls under the circular economy concept, whereby materials and fabrics are kept in use as many times as possible to reduce waste. By transforming items into original products we like, we are more likely to value our possessions, thus we are likely to keep them for longer. As Orsola de Castro points out in her book “Loved Clothes Last”, you can meaningfully reduce your carbon footprint by just doubling the useful life of your clothes. Importantly, repairing or transforming a garment which fast fashion brands often label as disposable becomes a statement against that very system which encourages quantity over quality.
We, at Beatrice Bayliss, create garments made of organic cotton and other natural and recycled fibres, which are intended to last for a long time. However, in order to make sure you are truly happy with your order, we are open to custom requests, which you can find via this link; https://beatricebayliss.com/pages/custom-requests
We are committed to provide you with clothes you are truly happy with, so that you can keep them for a long time and take meaningful steps towards conscious consumption!
By Chiara Tecchio