There is something truly ubiquitous when it comes to recycled and upcycled clothing, upcycled jewellery and recycled products and the clothes that are made from household rubbish and commercial junk. Merely because the origin of the newly upcycled clothing has come from everywhere and all around.
The reality is that for a century and a half the majority of rubbish has ended up underground in tips with most electronics ending up in developing nations. Otherwise termed as the third world but thanks to new techniques and technologies, upcycled clothes are very much the in thing. Coupled of course with a new found desire to be seen as eco friendly and ethical.
However after two decades of campaigning, legalese and government incentives, recycling and upcycling clothes has been very much the program for every household in the Western world to adhere to. The bi-product of such schemes has seen a massive u-turn towards recycling and a new era of upcycling and upcycled clothing and products was ushered in.
Traditionally unwanted clothing has ended up in second hand shops in the UK and across the globe, as too have fridges, mobile phones and other products. The one problem has been that while the clothes may well still be in good condition, they’re rather dated and not so much a fashionable statement. Which is where upcycling tends to change that perception.
What Is Upcycling And Upcycled Clothing?
Recycling is the process of taking rubbish and breaking products and parts apart so they can be melted down, morphed into a new material or resource for reuse.
Upcycling is the term used for turning rubbish into a completely new product or as part of a new entity, such as upcycled clothing, upcycled jewellery or upcycled products.
There are now dedicated upcycling clothes channels and businesses who re-manufacture existing products that have been dumped and turn them into entirely new forms of clothes, jewellery or art and in some cases functioning and useful products. Old rubbish is upcycled by way of deep cleaning, cutting, reshaping and remoulding materials to be used as new.
It’s not only the end product that is ethical in upcycling clothes however. Many manufacturers go the extra mile in providing authentic ethically made products for resale. So not only are the materials used recycled and upcycled, but water and waste is also recycled with extra emphasis on sourcing materials that are originally vegan, sustainable, fairtrade and or organic.
Often the recycled clothes and rubbish are turned into upcycled clothes and used in part to make a new form of upcycled clothing with patterning or new colouring applied. The interesting part is reading what kind of rubbish is behind these newly created products made from old household and commercial rubbish in the upcycling clothes process.
Which Rubbish Becomes Upcycled Clothing?
Typically it’s old clothes that become new clothes. The materials are thoroughly cleaned and used as a basis for a new fashionable item of upcycled clothing.
Old shoes can be used to make new shoes, silk scarves can be deep cleaned and have new items attached, such as tassels and a pair of upcycled leather shorts may have previously been a leather jacket or motorcycle gear.
There are of course other more weird, exciting and wonderful items of recycled rubbish which can become upcycled clothing. Take for instance the average commercial fire hose. Man handled by several dozen fire fighting men while fighting fires for twenty five years. Which woman wouldn’t want an upcycled belt and fire hose wrapped around her waist in the form of a recycled rubber hose plaque stitch belt. Not many!
Other rubbish recycled for use in upcycled clothing is vegan plastic, upcycled leather, upcycled fabrics, recycled plastics and recycled clothes. Upcycled jewellery is even more fascinating and uses vintage coins, vintage stamps, and old beads, chains and gems that are use together to form new upcycled jewellery.
Where Can I Find Upcycled Clothes?
The beautiful of upcycled clothing and upcycled clothes is you can find it all around you. Depending on how much time you have spare and if you a little design flair, you could be a DIY upcycler and recycle and upcycle your own clothes and old bits of rubbish. Not so sure? Well consider it but if you want ideas then look no further than Fashion Conscience.
Fashion Conscience are an online retailer that is very much an eco fanatic. If it’s made from sustainable materials, has a background in the Fairtrade movement, is ethical, made from vegan free materials, organic, recycled or upcycled then they have the type of upcycled clothing, eco friendly and ethical upcycled clothes and jewellery you will want to wear.
Reluxe, Skip Sisters, Uncommonly Beautiful X, Econation, Shared Earth are all fashionable, upcycling clothing manufacturers recycling and making new upcycled clothes that are big hits with visitors to Fashion Conscience. Discover a whole new world of ethical, eco, sustainable and upcycled clothing here.