Flextiles specialises in 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.
- 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!