There is a growing trend within the sustainability community towards upcycling, by taking waste materials and giving them purpose by turning them into something more usable. This is especially prominent with fashion, clothing, and other textile-based items, as they are notorious for producing large amounts of waste, various types of pollution, and being connected to horrible working conditions. In order to prevent more waste & pollution from being created, upcycling materials is one of the best ways that people can help the environment!
Upcycling is defined as recycling something in a way that the resulting product is of a higher value than the original item, or to create an object of greater value from a discarded object of lesser value (Merriam-Webster). By upcycling and using waste materials, you not only save these items from a landfill, but also avoid the emissions and costs associated with conventional manufacturing.
Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing (Ellen MacArthur Foundation) contributing to a loss of $500 billion worth of materials each year.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHARLIE ENGMAN; STYLING BY BECKY AKINYODE