How many times do we clean out our closets getting rid of item that we and our families have grown out or tired of?
Next time when cleaning your closet, in addition to “keep” & “throw” pile you might want to a third pile – “upcycle”.
So what’s upcycling? The goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting useful materials by making use of existing ones. By upcycling we reduce consumption of new raw materials when creating new products. Upcycling is the opposite half of the recycling process from downcycling, where materials and products are converted into new materials of less quality.
So what does this have to do with your closet? Look closely at materials used to create your old clothes. You might find that an old skirt would make a beautiful girls dress. Old t-shirts can be made into kids pajamas. Baby clothes can be made into a beautiful baby blanket or quilt. Vintage bed sheets and pillowcases can be made into dresses, skirts and shirts. Unmatched socked can be made into soft toys. Mittens can be made from old sweaters. You’ll find a plethora of DIY upcycling projects online at Pinterest and etsy that will inspire you to start upcycling projects.
Kids fashion designers are also following the trend of upcycling. Laura Yatim, Founder of Dashin Fashion Kids Magazine explains, “Kids fashion designers are more and more aware of their important role in keeping our planet green. One trend I see is upcycling where designers reuse fabrics from existing clothes or scrap fabrics from production.”
Two examples of kids fashion designers using upcycling in production are Agua Cashmere by GGrippo located in Brooklyn, New York and Dooboo by SooYoun Shim located in Seoul, Korea.
Agua cashmere for babies creates baby clothes and blankets made by a skilled crafts-person from twice-washed up-cycled cashmere. Another plus is there’s no need to dry-clean or use harsh chemicals. Each piece can be washed in water with gentle soap. They also create up-cycled kids clothes and adults clothes under the name Trash-a-Porter.
On the other side of the globe, Korean organic children’s brand dooboo (tofu), created by SooYoun Shim, offers organic cotton, linen, and all things good for the earth and our children. SooYoun Shim strives to keep the earth green by using fabric leftovers to create adorable bean babies dolls that coordinate with the clothes made of organic fabrics. It’s both organic and upcycled – now that good for the earth and children!
I don’t know about you but I’m off to reorganizing my closet now to find fun fabrics that I can use to start my next DIY upcycling project! You can also check out at www.dashinfashion.com