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Upcycle your beloved clothing

Everyone’s got a couple of favourite pieces in their wardrobe, but what happens when you lose that loving feeling towards them? Take a second to think before looking over at your recycling bin – with a bit of creativity and some DIY skills, you can refashion and boldly change your clothes so that you’ll love them even more.

It’s time to upcycle your beloved clothes.

Why should we upcycle clothing?

For two reasons. First: our study on people’s clothing habits shows that many of us actively express who we are through our clothes. So, upcycling is a great way to customise your old clothes and make them unique. Are the buttons on that shirt not ‘you’? Swap them out. Got a pair of jeans that are stained? Cut them up.

Second: it’s better for the planet. Sewing a patch onto your trousers or fitting a new lining into your jacket instead of throwing them away reduces the amount of clothes that will end up languishing in a landfill.

Upcycled clothing ideas

The beauty of upcycling clothing is that you can let your creative side run wild. There’s no strict definition of what the word means, so define it yourself.

Upcycling can be as simple as altering clothes to remove ripped or stained areas. Or it could be as radical as ripping up an old denim skirt and wearing it as a top (Rihanna made it work!).

Get the look: tie-dye upcycled t-shirts

It’s time to turn your old favourite t-shirt into your new favourite t-shirt using a tie-dye method. It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake during this process – the t-shirt you finish with will be unmistakably you.

Start by dissolving the dye with salt in warm water, then submerge the garment and stir for around an hour. Rinse off in cold water, then wash again in warm water before drying. Different dyes have different methods, so always follow the instructions on the packet. Remember that hand-dyed clothing requires gentle washing to retain the colour. Wash on a low heat with a gentle detergent and a fabric conditioner to preserve its brightness for longer.

And that’s it. It’s easy to cheer ‘Long Live Clothes!’ when you know that upcycling gives your clothes a new life.