Helping the Enviroment Through Upcycling

Helping the Enviroment Through Upcycling

A new trend that is taking over the A-list fashion world is upcycled clothing. Every day, more and more luxury brands explore the market of upcycled clothing.  It’s an effort to be eco-friendly and trendy. Not sure what upcycled clothing is?  No worries, we’ve broken it down for you.

What is Upcycled Clothing?

If you are new to this trend, your first question may be, "What exactly is upcycled clothing?" 

Lucky for you, we have all of the information you may need to become an expert in upcycled clothing. 

Many people often make the mistake of comparing recycled clothes and upcycled clothes, as if they are the same thing. You may be shocked to learn that they are indeed not the same thing. 

Recycled clothing is taking the same piece of clothing and making it into a new product. On the other hand, upcycled clothing is taking the article of clothing and modernizing it to increase the overall value.

Why Should You Upcycle Clothing?

Upcycling your clothing is not only cute and trendy, but it is also healthy for the environment. The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits of producing massive amounts of waste.  It is also one of the largest polluters globally. 

After all, fashion is a global industry. So, let's talk numbers.  About three-fifths of newly produced clothing ends up in a landfill within a year of being made. 

In landfills and other incinerators, there are about millions of tons of textile waste, and the majority of those tons end up discarded completely. 

In America alone, the average United States citizen throws away or discards around 70 pounds of textiles a year.

Clearly, the fashion industry needs a sustainable solution. While some larger companies are slowly making their way towards upcycled clothing and more sustainable methods of creating new designs altogether, there are plenty of smaller businesses out there that are taking the upcycled fashion into their own hands. 

Making and buying upcycled clothing eliminates any guilt consumers have about harming the ecosystem, and it allows everyone wearing the clothing to feel more connected to what they are wearing.

One thing to keep in mind about upscaled clothing. You are limited to how many pieces you can make.  This means every piece of clothing tends to be unique.  

Without a doubt, upcycled clothing is fashion friendly to the environment and consumers alike. 

How Can You Upcycle Clothing?

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You know that old pair of shorts that have been sitting in your closet for years that you can’t seem to get rid of but do not wear anymore?  It’s time to take them to the next level.  It’s time to upscale.

All you need to take your old clothes from boring to A-list is some inspiration, scissors, and maybe a sewing machine. For example, it can be as easy as cutting an old button-up shirt into a trendy off the shoulder shirt. 

Like anything else, you need to do a little research before jumping in and cutting up all of your old clothes.  The truth is, though, anyone with a bit of inspiration and some desire to create can upscale their closet.

Here’s a great example of doing your homework then making it a reality. A newer trend is adding spots of bleach to your clothes, which can take any old black shirt to a new level of cute and trendy.  And the cost is the best part.  It's about $2 for a bottle of bleach. However, make sure whatever you do, you are doing safely.  You do need to know what you are doing because adding buttons to an old shirt is not worth a trip to the hospital. 

The best part about upcycling your clothing is that no one else will ever have the same outfit. 

There is a chance you might not be unique.  If you got your inspiration from other clothing online, others could've run across it as well. The good news? No one will have the personally crafted version you made, which is perfect for anyone who hates accidentally wearing the same clothing as someone else. With upcycled clothing, you get to have unique, personal, trendy clothing, all while doing your part to save the environment and be ecofriendly.

Where Can I Find Upcycled Clothing to Buy?

If you are artistically challenged, there's still hope for you.  You can still indulge in some upcycled fashion. There are plenty of brands out there that allow you to buy clothing that has been reused or upcycled. 

 Check out Main Street in any town.  You are sure to find a business owner who would love to sell you some upcycled clothing. 

There are all types of retailers out there.  Some are small and local, and others are worldwide.  You have to do some research to find places that ship to you. Some online upcycled fashion favorites are Beyond Retro, Fabric for Freedom, RubyMoon, Zero Waste Daniel, and Ecoalf. 

Every brand caters to a different look, whether it is a more vintage take on clothing, an upcycled activewear brand, or just a company that puts new pieces together out of upcycled clothing.

Another fan favorite brand that is larger and you can find in stores is Patagonia. Patagonia is considered one of the Founding Fathers in the ethical fashion world, as it has been using ethical practices since 1973. 

Patagonia allows customers to return any clothing that is unusable and will turn it into newly made vests and jackets as a part of their Worn Wear program. If they get any returns in good conditions, they resell the piece through the Worn Wear program, resell it to employees, or donate it to people in need. 

Patagonia and upcycled clothing are leading more brands toward an ethical fashion world, and the environment is thankful for it.


Looking good and doing good —it doesn't get much better than that.  If you are looking to clean out your closet or to spice up your wardrobe, consider upscaling your clothes.  Mother Earth will thank you.

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