Are you up for a challenge? Before unveiling the fourth step of the #ReLoveReWear challenge that I have taken in order to love my clothes again, I would like to encourage you to join the challenge. That is the first way – and maybe the most important one – to create a sustainable wardrobe. The challenge is very easy; I am highlighting 10 steps that you can complete at your own rhythm and in the order you want. Follow @LocalFashionStories on Instagram and Facebook, @LFashionStories on Twitter and the hashtag #ReLoveReWear. You can complete the different steps with me and use the hashtag #ReLoveReWear to post your progress. The more we share our ideas, the more traction we will all get.
Step 4: Upcycle Old Pieces
We all have those pairs of jeans, shirts and skirts in the back of our closet that we are tired of wearing! However, we don’t feel ready to give them away. Here’s something you can do to use them and appreciate them again: upcycle them!
In case you’re not familiar with the upcycling fashion concept, it is simply the process of transforming unwanted products into new materials or products. There are many options to transform your clothes – some easier than others: raise hems, embellish, distress, remove sleeves, change the neckline or the colour, merge two items and make something completely new!
There are plenty of benefits to upcycling:
1. Sustainability – Upcycling reduces clothing and textile waste, as you are offering a second life to unused garments.
2. A Cheaper Wardrobe – It is less expensive to make a new garment – even if you need the service of a tailor – from materials you already own.
3. Uniqueness – You will create something unique and quirky with a beautiful story behind.
I scrutinised my wardrobe and found that I had two denim shirts that looked almost the same. I also recently discovered the amazing work of a French designer based in London, Faustine Steinmetz. Inspired by her work and after watching a few tutorials online, I cut out fringes on the pockets, sleeves, collar and bottom of one of the denim shirts in order to bring a touch of badassness! I have to say that I tremendously enjoyed the process of upcycling and I am delighted with the result.
To go a bit further, I interviewed the fashion stylist Lalla Bronshtein, who loves upcycling and has created her own brand called LALLAXRR for Lalla x Recycled Revolution. The core concept of LALLAXRR is to make completely new garments with vintage pieces. She shares with us her top tips to start upcycling.
1. Could you tell us about your fashion brand, LALLAXRR?
LALLAXRR is a contemporary, Eco-friendly Womenswear brand with a focus on the Recycling and Upcycling of vintage pieces to create one-off , on-trend garments. Vintage and charity shop items are transformed into wearable, upcycled garments with a high fashion edge. LALLAXRR eliminates the need for the production of new fabrics and reduces energy consumption, and the result is an eclectic mix of colour, fabric and silhouette.
2. What inspired you to create Lallaxrr and what are your ambitions for 2018?
I feel there is so much unwanted clothing in the world and at the same time people are undecided on what to throw out of their wardrobes, so that inspired me alone to create a brand which gives old clothing a new life, a new journey and at the same time eliminates the need for the productions of new fabrics as well!
My ambitions for LALLAXRR in 2018, are for it to be stocked in Harrods, Liberty London and Selfridges which would be the complete trash to treasures dream!!
3. What are your top tips to someone who wants to start upcycling unworn pieces from their wardrobe?
My 3 top tips are…
1- Bear in mind when you upcycle garments that they will go down a size, so always bear in mind garments sizing when upcycling them.
2- Try finding pieces to upcycle that are unique from the start.
3- Wash the old pieces before you start the upcycling process, this gives you a good idea of the condition of the fabric and how well the garment will work and what bits on the garment are best to upcycle.
4. Are there some pieces that are easier or better for upcycling?
Simple garments that are cut well are best to upcycle.
5. What do you love most about upcycling?
I love designing the pieces but most of all I love seeing the designs at the end. It is always the most exciting part because you never know if the garments are going to come out like your design idea.
Have a look at the items you don’t wear anymore and imagine how you could upcycle them. I would love to know your ideas so please share them on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ReLoveReWear.