• Courtnee Owens

Upcycling: Out With The Old, In With The… Old?

For the past few months, thrift shops have been closed due to shelter-in-place orders. While I miss the feeling of walking down thrift store aisles, I completely understand that they are not essential to my well-being.

But, a shelter-in-place shouldn’t stop you from filling your thrift void. We live in a world that runs on technology. Meaning, whether you need to donate clothes, buy clothes, sell clothes or transform clothing into something new, the Internet allows you to do it all with a Google search.

In my last blog post, I talked about ThredUP, a site that allows you to buy, sell and donate in exchange for cash, tax write-offs and/or a monetary donation to Feeding America. But, say you’re not interested in buying or selling clothing but rather transforming the clothing you already have into something new. Upcycling might be the concept for you.

Utilizing clothing you already own, upcycling is the concept of reusing material to create something better than the original through creative expression. While donating and selling clothing is one way to achieve “out with the old and in with the new”, only about 10-15% of donated clothing is resold in stores. 

Upcycling not only helps prevent clothing from contribute to landfills, it gives you the room to be creative and saves you money.

Not interested in transforming clothing yourself? Here’s some of my favorite Instagram accounts that sell upcycled clothing:

  1. @youthjunkvintage

  2. @liberatedcotton

  3. @scarlettorange

Left: Photos and vintage fleeces re-worked into cute, mini bags by @youthjunkvintage on Instagram.

Right: Photos and re-worked, biodegradable, hand-sewn jeans by @liberatedcotton on Instagram.