Category

Fashion

Arts & Crafts, Fashion, Life & Style

Upcycling Clothes With 6 Fab DIYs

sewing and upcycling
upcycling old clothes idea

After some upcycling ideas for your old clothes? I’ve got six clever ideas for you today.

Did you know that clothing production is the third biggest manufacturing industry after the automotive and technology industries? Yes, textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined.

Did you also know that washing, solvents, and dyes used in clothing manufacturing are responsible for one-fifth of industrial water pollution? Or that 3 out of 5 fast fashion items end up in landfill?

These statistics are mind-blowing. It’s clear that it’s imperative to the environment to prolong the life of our clothing for as long as possible. We can wash our clothes correctly, and we can mend them to keep them in circulation. But what about when your clothes have seen better days? The good news is you don’t have to bin them, you can upcycle your clothes.

Six Upcycling Clothes DIYs

There are some really talented people out there. Here’s a round-up of some of the great posts I’ve found lately from bloggers who have been upcycling clothes and given them a fantastic new lease of life.  Click on the links to be taken to the full post from each blogger and instructions from them on how you can do the same.

Upcycling Clothes With Potato Printing

potato printed trousers

Fritha from the blog Tigerlilly Quinn did some amazing geometric potato printing on a pair of little boy’s jeans she found in a charity shop.  Her toddler is going to look amazing in them!

handprinted t-shirt

And isn’t this potato printed fox top she also made for her son the cutest (in the same post)?

Upcycle a Shirt Into a Skirt

upcycled shirt ideas

Vicky from the Oh Wild blog is also a crafting wizard!  She whipped up this stunning embroidered skirt repurposed from a men’s denim shirt. And then she also breathed new life into an old leather jacket with this DIY stud detailing, creating an up-to-the-minute studded leather jacket.  How is that for upcycling clothes?!

Upcycle A Scarf Into A Shirt

upcycled clothing ideas

This scarf that has been incorporated into a gorgeous shirt has been sitting on my to-do list for an age.  It’s just perfect for summer.  And what a clever upcycling idea – I am officially in love! What a great way to transform a shirt that you’ve perhaps burned with an iron, stained, or has an irreparable hole. The link no longer works, and I can’t find a similar tutorial, so you will have to use your imagination on how to do this, I’m afraid.

Lace Backed Shirt

shirt diy with this upcycling clothes idea

Keeping on the denim shirt theme, the last of my upcycling clothes ideas, is this beautiful DIY lace shirt from A Beautiful Mess. It makes me want to whip out my sewing machine right away!  I’m no sewing wizard but it looks fairly straightforward, so I could be tempted to give this a go!

Have you found any other good upcycling clothes posts or ideas or have one of your own that you’d like to share?  Let me know in the comments below! And do check out these 5 more upcycling ideas.

Fashion, Life & Style

Ethical High Street Shops

ethical high street

Ever wondered how ethical and environmentally friendly our high-street shops are?  Ethical Consumer have put together an interactive table of ethical high street shops, rated on their environmental, ethical, and political performance.  I’ve personally found that it is really useful when making decisions about where to shop.

Ethical High Street Shops?

ethical high street shops

I strongly believe that as consumers it’s our job to be as informed as we can, so I’ve found this table on ethical high street shops quite enlightening and surprising.

Here’s the full rundown:

ethical high street shops

I do have an updated version of this ethical guide to the high street here.

As far as ethical high street shops go, I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that Sainsbury’s fairtrade clothing would be rated lower than Primark.  That is a huge surprise. 

I also wouldn’t have guessed that John Lewis would be rated only 0.5 points above Primark.  Again, John Lewis is one of those shops that I would have expected more from.

And most surprising of all – that New Look would be one of the most ethical performers on the High Street.  And Bon Marche?  I don’t think I’ve ever stepped foot in a Bon Marche shop.

Where Is The Best Place to Shop?

Of course, this isn’t to say that New Look is ethical.  Ethical Consumer say any score below 10 is considered poor.  This suggests that the high street is still has a very long way to go on ethics. I personally would try to stick to shopping for secondhand clothes, or for ethical brands, where possible. Although I do realise ethical clothing isn’t always the most accessible – both in terms of inclusivity and in terms of price. If you do need to shop on the high street then it’s certainly not something to feel guilty about.

Were there any surprises here for you?

PS: Found this post useful?  Since I initially put this post together back in 2013 I’ve written extensively about shopping ethically.  Here’s a guide on how to shop ethically, a guide to men’s ethical clothing companies, and a guide on how to shop ethically on a budget.  I’ve also got information on where to buy ethical sleepwear, ethical tights and socksethical shoes, and even men’s underwear and women’s underwear!