Upcycling

I hate unnecessary waste, so I love upcycling clothes and accessories, turning items that are no longer wanted back into desirable objects.

  • In 2017, 1,130,000 tonnes of new clothing was purchased in the UK – an increase of 200,000 tonnes since 2012.
  • Fashion in the UK lasts an average of 3.3 years before a garment is discarded.
  • Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

How does upcycling work?

I buy items mostly from charity / thrift shops, but also jumble sales, car boot sales and auctions. I work only with natural fibres such as silk, cotton, wool and linen.

Depending on the item, I have various methods for upcycling it.

  • I overdye it with indigo using a technique called shibori (sort of sophisticated tie dye).
  • I use a technique called ecoprinting, where I bundle the item with real leaves and steam it - the pigments from the leaves transfer to the fabric. The item may also be dyed with natural plant-based dyes before or after printing.
  • If woollen sweaters or scarves have been damaged by moths, I can incorporate them into new wet felted pieces such as cushions, wall art or vessels.

Have a look in my online shop to see examples of my work.

Who benefits?

  • You do, because each piece is unique, one of a kind - you will never see anyone else wearing exactly the same garment!
  • I do, because I don't get bored churning out a production line of identical items. 🙂
  • The charity shop benefits (and I visit a LOT of charity shops!)
  • The environment benefits because the shelf life of the clothes is extended, rather than them possibly ending up in landfill.

I also take commissions

If you have existing garments that you like but are starting to look a little tired, why not talk to me about giving them a new lease of life by overdyeing or overprinting?

You can commission a truly unique original piece that you know nobody else will have, and do your bit for the environment at the same time!

shibori arashi scarf
upcycled felt cushion
ecoprint yellow bramble top