Written by Em Goodman
As it’s now the first of October, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my experience taking part in Second-hand September. This year I decided to try using the Re-considered upcycling service! As an online vintage shop owner I am very used to shopping consciously and wearing second-hand clothing, but I’d never used an upcycling service before. Over the years I’ve tried my best not to contribute to textile waste, but it can be difficult finding uses for all the old clothes and scrap materials I ended up collecting over the years.
Recently I found out that a huge amount of clothing donated to charity shops isn’t sold and eventually ends up in landfill. I used to believe that donating items to charity was a sustainable option to clear out my wardrobe, but now I realise that donating clothes to charity should really be a last resort. This has compelled me to keep as much scrap material, old bedding, and clothing as possible to be used in future sewing projects and recycled into new creations. However, as a beginner who has only recently learnt how to use a sewing machine, it’s sometimes hard to have the inspiration or skill to know what to transform my old garments into!
When I stumbled upon Re-considered on Instagram, I was immediately drawn to their pieces made from unwanted bedding. There’s so much fabric in duvet covers and pillowcases so they’re ideal to make new garments out of. My Nan was recently clearing out old bedding that she’d had stored away for years and as she didn’t know what to do with it, I ended up taking it off her hands for my scrap fabric bag. One piece in particular that caught my eye was a blue and pink floral pillowcase with a frill around the edge which originally belonged to my Mum when she was in her twenties. It was so pretty but wasn’t something that I would use in my bedroom, so I thought I would contact Re-considered and see if it could be turned into an item of clothing!
I filled out an online form and was quickly put in touch with Tabby to arrange a video call to discuss the upcycling service. Tabby was super friendly and immediately had some ideas of how to transform the pillowcase. She suggested transforming it into a top which I thought was a great idea considering the size of the material. I explained that I would prefer it to be tight fitting rather than loose and she suggested adding some shirring to create a flattering fit. After the call Tabby sent me some example photos of what she envisioned for the top and asked me for the go-ahead. The design was exactly my style, and I knew I would get a lot of wear out of it. After giving Tabby my bust, waist, and shoulder measurements, I dropped my pillowcase off at the post office and eagerly awaited my upcycled top.
Two weeks later I was so excited to receive my new top in the post and it is absolutely perfect! It’s exactly how I imagined it would be and more, and the best part is it fits like a glove. It feels even more special to know that it’s been made to my exact measurements and created from fabric that would have otherwise ended up in the bin. I couldn’t recommend Re-considered’s upcycling service more. Tabby was amazing throughout the whole process, she made it so easy and hassle free and I’ve ended up with a garment that I’ll wear over and over again for years to come.
Overall, with people becoming more conscious of shopping sustainably, I believe upcycling clothing like this will be key in making our wardrobes more sustainable. It’s a fantastic way to achieve that ‘new clothes’ feeling in a guilt-free way. Using upcycling services like Re-considered is one of the best ways of recycling your old textiles and revamping your wardrobe at the same time!