Written by Erin Marsh
I think we can all agree that buying new clothes gives us a little boost of happiness, however I think we can all also agree that that happiness wears off within a week of said clothes being in our wardrobes, or soon forgotten. I can’t explain why we get a kick out of new stuff, but I do know that for me at least, it’s short-lived.
What I have discovered though is that I get even more of a kick out of buying something second hand or buying an upcycled or handmade item that really no one else has, and I feel strangely attached and weirdly proud of these items, that I find myself in no hurry to replace them or upgrade to a newer or fancier version of it.
Now that it’s March, the days are getting incrementally longer and the sky a few shades brighter and I think upcycling can be implemented into many aspects of our lives, especially our wardrobes. This time of year gets us thinking about summer, what we’re going to do, who we’re going to see and most importantly what we’re going to wear. The sacred date of 21st of June is leading people to outfit plan as we speak, ‘wish lists’ are being made on every fast fashion website you can think of and everyone seems to just forget about the drawers full of summer clothes from last year waiting to see the light of day, only to find they’re hardly worn again, joining all the abandoned clothes from the years before.
This summer could be one of the best (but worst) years for the fast fashion epidemic. It feels like no one has worn proper clothes in months so the hasty clicking on ‘add to basket’ will all be driven by the thrill of our impending freedom.
A friend of mine told me recently that her new year’s resolution this year was to not buy a single item of new clothing for the whole year. If she finds herself needing to break this resolution, she’ll upcycle her current clothes. It brings her heaps more joy than adding a bunch of items to her basket on Asos that the rest of the population of 20-something women already own, and that quite frankly she won’t even own for very long as the wheels of fast fashion keep relentlessly turning.
I think this can be really healthy not just for the planet but also for the mind. By choosing to upcycle, you’re tailoring your clothes to the style, shape and colour of what you actually want and what you will actually wear and feel confident in. Not to mention by having a spring clean, giving some clothes to charity, selling them, or upcycling them – either yourself or putting your valued trust in someone else – can really declutter the mind, which is something that we all could use right now, don’t you think?