Upcycling can be as simple as adding a vintage item, which you thought was past it, to and new outfit to create a great new look, and this is the fundamental idea behind Like Never Before. A simple pairing of old and new gives an outfit, or anything for that matter, a new, unique style. Through upcycling you are recycling, and that is important not only for the environment, but to help special memories live on and give others inspiration through creativity.
Recycling is great, but it is also a drain on energy and resources. Recycling needs to be collected, sort and processed, and in the end, recycling produces inferior quality products to what you had to begin with. Upcycling is different. It does not involve recycling in the traditional sense, so it avoids the drain on energy and resources. Upcycling means turning an unwanted or unused product into a better quality product with a greater value than it originally had…creating something special like never before. And because my pieces are made all by myself, it is only my own time and resources being used.
Upcycling is so important. The need to find alternative ways to deal with our waste has never been greater. We throw a staggering amount of stuff into landfills in Britain, where methane gas is released, causing climate change. Our clothing and textiles wastage is huge…1.8 million tones…every year!
Upcycling is so creative. It allows us to express our unique style and to reinvent. Many upcycled jewellery designers combine unwanted pieces of jewellery to create something new. My focus is on textile wastage which is huge. I love the idea of transformation, and turning an old pair of jeans into fashion jewellery is completely unexpected.
- Change a jumper or shirt into a quirky cushion cover. Need some stuffing – use up all those plastic bags or chopped up old t-shirts.
- Use stencils or fine paintbrushes to create designs or write your favourite quote or song lyrics on some old furniture.
- Cut out and layer up flower shapes from old magazines and tape to sticks from the garden, to create unique paper flower decorations.
- Wrap wire around glass jars to make hanging lanterns.
- Fill a tea cup with wax and a wick to make an adorable vintage candle.
- Mount old maps onto cardboard and add string to create vintage style gift tags.
- Charity shops are great for finding unique fashion pieces to transform your outfit – you’re recycling and giving money to charity. Don’t just take it from me, take it from Macklemore…