Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Upcycling, by definition, is the use of existing materials to create something new, upgrading the original item into something more desirable for years to come.
Upcycling takes an item or garment as is, and through innovative design creates something more beautiful and beneficial than it’s original.
Upcycle design is a long term solution to many of the fashion industry’s deepest entrenched issues. Increasing the number of times clothing is worn is one of the most powerful ways to reduce pressure on resources, and decrease negative environmental impacts.
As upcycle design uses existing finished products as raw materials, the need to produce new things is eliminated, thus preserving natural resources and reducing CO2 emissions. For every ton of discarded textiles used again, 20 tons of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere. These emissions contribute to climate change and global warming, which pose the most serious threat to our planet and lives. Lowering emissions is the most proactive way to protect the environment.
Currently, over 500 billion of barely used clothing gets wasted every year. Upcycling extends clothing lifecycles and creates less garbage. It eradicates the idea of waste and helps lessen the number of textiles going into landfills.
Upcycle design is truly a vision for the future, and a viable tool to be used in the implementation of a new circular fashion economy. Upcycling enables us to produce new beauty, creating new and inspiring styles from things that what we already have. By using existing materials, upcycling gives our planet the opportunity to renew its natural resources and rebalance its natural habitats with a variety of teeming life to enrich our planet.
The key to true sustainability is intelligent design, continually thinking about the future we want to create. This is a never-ending creative process, and one that if done on a grand scale, will lead us to renewable abundance, without shortages, without misuse and mistreatment, without turning a blind eye to the build-up of waste that never gets cleaned.
If we as a collective humanity can get on the right side of the sustainability curve, the future of fashion, and of life itself, offers more possibilities than even we can imagine.