“Up Cycle: to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original: I upcycled a stained tablecloth into curtains.”
“..we’ve been trained to think, that once an objects intended use is complete that it no longer has value. But what many of us don’t realize is that in this day and age we just can’t afford to throw things away – neither our wallets, nor our environment can afford that kind of waste.” E Dot.
Lots of people roll their eyes when i say up cycle as if its a new fangled thing, when it is in fact a very old thing indeed – who hasn’t heard their or someone else’s Nanna bang on about making their own clothes from scraps like everyone was the Von Trapp family back then? Today we need to be even more imaginative with the resources we have, and with this at the heart of my business, I’m going to keep passing on these up cycling ideas whether they be little quirky ones, or more navel gazing serious bits. I’m sure you lot can handle it.
And at no point will i advise you wear curtains like those…yagh.
E Dot appear to be a rather savvy bunch of people who have been putting out some interesting ideas and information on this topic, and others relating to changing the world for the better. Their motto is ‘every day one thing’ which i think is brilliant, mainly as it puts things in perspective and reminds me to keep ploughing on even when you’re facing a world of commerce and apathy despite the evidence for our environmental crisis. we can make a change, one day at a time, one bit at a time.
Here’s a few words from them on upcycling:
Through practising ideas of up cycling on a daily basis, we can adjust our own attitudes towards our resources, and thus adjust attitudes of those around us.
I have found this first hand – the first time i remodelled a t shirt and painted on it, i claimed ownership of it, and somehow felt entitled to do with it as i please. When i felt it was truly mine, i realised i could get more from it than it had been sold to me as and i felt sort of conspiratorial, i was breaking the rules of commerce by not buying a new one to suit my purpose. It also looked new and has lasted, giving me a new feeling of the longevity of things we simply discard. It was also my creation, on me, people liked it. It felt and still feels really good, and im hooked.
We can all claim ownership in this way – of your car, your paper, your scrap, and definitely of the endlessy renewed technology in mobile phones and other gadgets – our lack of care for what we own and how we dispose of it is destroying us. Its very real. we can change it, and that is also real. You also forget you are doing it and before you know it, your attitude has irrevocably shifted. No one can convince me to discard clothing these days – if it is not painted, re modelled, passed or, donated or gifted, it’s turned into cleaning rags. My home is entirely dusted with an old blouse currently. Works wonders.
But this is an introduction, and i’m compiling a post on my hero, Vivienne Westwood to explain though her example, what these attitudes can mean, and the importance of clothing fashion to these attitudes.
In the meanwhile, heres a clip of her being odd and fantastic as usual: