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What is Upcycling?

  • by: Verney - Sustaintable Shoes
  • Sustentabilidade

How many times have you come across this term and have no idea what it means? Well, today we are going to explain what this concept means and also give you some ideas to start practicing it, so stay with us!

 

The concept

 

Upcycling can be described as a sustainable technique, whose goal is to give another life to objects that we no longer want or that can no longer be used for their intended purpose.

 

This concept is not something new, however, it is only now that it is gaining more importance. If you are wondering, why only now? Because upcycling has a sustainable aspect and only recently have all the issues related to sustainability and environmental impacts gained more force.

 

What does it actually mean to give things a new life?

 

First of all, we want to note that upcycling and recycling are not the same thing, in this sense, giving things a new life does not mean recycling. However, obviously recycling is a very important act, so we encourage you to do it!

 

To answer the question, in upcycling , giving things a new life means giving them a new function. That is, taking an object and giving it a function other than its own. Confused? We'll explain.

 

For example, the function of a chair is to sit, the function of a fork is to help us eat or the function of a watering can is to water plants, right? In upcycling, all these initial functions are put aside, and the object has a completely different function.

 

In fact, we're pretty sure you've already upcycled and didn't even know it!

 

You know those pallets you use to put your mattress on, or that old watering can you painted and turned into a beautiful vase? Upcycling is exactly that!

 

Advantages

Since upcycling is a sustainable practice, it has several advantages in its favour:

- It reduces the amount of waste produced, some of which would spend years in landfill;

- It reduces the need to exploit raw materials for the production of new products;

- It saves water and energy used in the exploitation of natural resources and for recycling;

- Slows down the production of new products and their environmental impacts;

- Encourages responsible consumption;

- Promotes creativity.

 

As you can see, the list of advantages is already long! In fact, upcycling only has benefits, so there is no excuse not to start now.

 

Upcycling and fashion

 

Upcycling can be applied to any area you wish, from decoration to fashion.

 

As we know, the rhythm of clothing production is frenetic, making the fashion industry one of the most polluting industries in the world.

 

In this sense, this 'new' upcycling technique ends up joining the slow fashion and conscious fashion movements.

 

Right now, you are probably wondering how upcycling can be applied to fashion. The answer is: through creativity! Everything in upcycling is about creativity, so you can start by taking those jeans you no longer wear and creating a stylish bag, for example.

 

If we can give you a tip, when building your capsule wardrobe, reuse some of the pieces you're going to throw away and turn them into something else.

 

Check out the following topic and find some ideas.

 

Examples of upcycling in fashion

 

As we have already said, creativity is undoubtedly the key element of upcycling.

 

But if creativity is not your thing, we leave you a list of things you can do with clothes and fabrics you no longer use:

 

- Pillowcases: with curtains you no longer want or that are damaged, you can easily create new pillowcases for your living room or bedroom;

 

- Bags or necessaries: you know those jeans that don't fit anymore, but you really like them? We have good news for you: you can use the fabric of those jeans to create a new bag or necessaries for your make-up;

 

- Tops: if you have a skirt whose cut is out of fashion, but you really like the fabric, you can create a beautiful top;

 

- Custom t-shirts: did you want to give a new life to your basic t-shirts? You can reuse fabric scraps you have at home, such as lace, and apply them to t-shirts. You can even go one step further and cut the back of the t-shirt and apply lace to the cut area, then sew or glue it and voilà you have a new t-shirt;

 

- Lampshades: fed up with the colour of your lampshades? We have the solution for you. You can easily change the colour or the look of your lampshade by reusing a t-shirt that you no longer use. Just cut the fabric to fit your lampshade, staple or glue the top and bottom and you have a new lampshade;

 

- Keyrings: you can easily reuse scraps of fabric you have lying around the house to create new keyrings;

 

- Jumpers for dogs or cats: In winter, it's not only humans who get cold, our pets do too! You can create a jumper for your dog or cat by reusing clothes you no longer use. If it's a small animal, just reuse the sleeve and make the holes for the paws!

 

- Accessories: you can easily create accessories for yourself or your daughters. Just reuse some fabric or clothes you no longer use to create bows or headbands, for example.

 

These are just some of the many ideas out there, just search at the Internet and you'll find some really cute ideas! Take your creativity and your scissors and get to work.



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