With programmes celebrating upcycling such as this Old Thing: The Vintage Clothes Show, which shows us how to recycle and upgrade our old clothes, these days, buying something new can, not only seem to be a waste of money, but a crime against the environment. But do you have to be a whiz with a sewing machine to get involved in this new trend, or can we just all keep our heads down hoping it’s just another phase and it will soon pass? Well, the bad news, if you’re no sewing diva, is that upcycling is no passing fad, and with celebrities embracing the trend such as Lady Gaga, and Livia Firth (actor Colin’s wife, who wore an up cycled dress to the 2011 Oscars), upcycling is one trend that’s here for a good few years. cheap prednisone for dogs What is upcycling? Upcycling is where you take an item of clothing that would normally get thrown away, and add, restyle or completely change the item from what it originally was, to increase its value and make it better. Easy examples of up cycling can include taking up the hem of a vintage dress to make it more fashionable, or adding a strip of vibrant patterned material to a plain tee shirt. More ambitious projects can include taking a man’s work shirt and transforming into a woman’s shirtdress, or even using unusual material to make fabulous jewellery. neurontin 300 mg gabapentin Why should we upcycle? We live in a throw away age, where cheap items of clothing are produced in their billions. But what happens to these items when they are discarded? Most of them will end up in landfills around the world. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this is an estimated 14.3 millions tonnes, or around 5.7 percent of total solid waste generation in the U.S. alone. Is it time to stop this culture of cheap disposable clothing? Practical tips for upcycling It can be quite daunting when you first embark on upcycling, and also tempting to pick up a load of junk, which you will never wear, use, or up-cycle and end up throwing out again. So here are a few pointers to get you started: 1. Don’t worry about size or gender, if you love the print you can re-imagine the garment. 2. Don’t just use your eyes, run your hands along racks and this way you find treasures such as wool and silk that you might have missed. 3. Don’t rely on sizing labels, try it on as brands have slightly different sizes and charity shops may stock vintage clothing. 4. Keep to a budget; the object is not to spend a fortune but to re-design the item to add value to it. How to upcycle garments Now you know why you should upcycle and have some practical advice, here’s how to do it! Men’s shirts: Take an extra large men’s shirt in the pattern you like and transform it into a cute summer dress. Pick a colourful shirt and transform it into a gorgeous summer skirt. Make pretty crop tops from shirts and add embellishments from other garments. Trousers: Turn long trousers into shorts and add patterned pockets with remnants of your favourite scarves. Make trousers into shirts with a few clever snips and adding extra material. Create bags from trousers and use the pockets from the pants as compartments. Jumpers: Make funky leg warmers from the sleeves of an old jumper. Turn the body of a jumper into a bag or a cushion. Transform a big baggy men’s jumper into a fashionable knitted dress. Cover cheap bangles with the knit of old jumpers. Buttons: Don’t forget that buttons can completely transform an outfit, by swapping old-fashioned ones for chic and upto date ones. Now that you are getting the hang of upcycling, you’ll be amazed at what you can upcycle. We’ve seen examples of duvets turned into bathrobes, onesies made into dresses and ball gowns made out of denim jeans. So, have I inspired you to upcycle? Let me know if you are planning an upcycling project!