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Sustainable Fashion: What Is Upcycling In Fashion?

Sustainable Fashion: What Is Upcycling In Fashion?

Upcycling or refashioning your clothes is a fun way to update your wardrobe in a sustainable way.

By upcycling you can:

  • Extend the life of your clothing
  • Keep up with changing trends
  • Reduce textile waste and landfill
  • Save money by reducing the need to buy new clothing
  • Create unique looks
  • Learn new skills

Whilst upcycling can help to develop your creative side, it’s not just for the skilled seamstresses among us either – with a little effort and know-how anyone can alter or accessorise their clothing.

We thought we’d share with you some simple and fun ideas that you can try with minimal skill involved.

Transform an old t-shirt

With a pair of scissors and some cleverly positioned ties, it’s possible to refashion a t-shirt into a totally different styled top. A quick search on the web will throw up lots of ideas that you can try to suit your taste.

We love these ideas pitched at the ‘impatient beginner’, which anyone can try for a fun result:


Embroidery is a great way to give almost any piece of clothing a new look. With embroidery, you can create bold or delicate looks, personalise your clothing and also make repairs. All you need is an embroidery needle and some embroidery thread. An embroidery hoop can also be really helpful when it comes to keeping your fabric taut while you’re working, but it’s not essential.

It may seem complicated, but you can master basic embroidery with a few simple stitches, and the result can look great. Take a look at these easy techniques to conceal holes in clothing:

For a bolder look, with little to no sewing involved, you can try iron-on patches which are readily available online in a multitude of designs. Patches can give your garments a unique style twist. Check out this tutorial to discover just how easy it is to apply them: 

 Repurpose your denim jeans

An old classic when it comes to refashioning clothing is the jeans to denim shorts transformation. When your jeans are looking a bit tired, cutting the legs off and wearing them as a pair of shorts is a quick way to extend their life while keeping them very wearable. Again, you don’t need to own a sewing machine or be an expert with a needle to convert your jeans into shorts.

This video illustrates how easily you can do it, with a variety of outcomes:

 If shorts aren’t your style, then creating a denim skirt is an alternative you can try with just a little more effort:

 Get in touch!

We’d love to know what upcycling techniques you’ve tried or whether you’re planning to have a go at any of these! You can get in touch with us any time on social media or by email.

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