Many people are familiar with the term recycling, but not many are familiar with the term upcycling. Upcycling is a form of reusing something in a way that doesn’t require breaking it down or destroying it. Recycling usually requires that a product is broken down into a non-recognizable form to be made into something new.
Here at Goodwill, we’re all about upcycling within our stores. We believe in giving a piece of clothing or furniture new life by selling it to you at a discounted price. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say. Upcycling is easy! All you need is a vision and some creative inspiration. Here are five ways to upcycle your clothes from Goodwill.
- Add an embellishment.
One way to give an item of clothing new life is to add some sort of embellishment to it. Add a patch or brooch to a jean jacket. Glue on or clip on some bling to make a basic shoe perfect for a cocktail party. Plus, sewing on decals and patches can make an item look vintage.
- Cut to a new length.
If you find a pair of pants that fit great everywhere except the length, consider cutting them off to achieve the length you want. This can be done to turn pants into shorts or a long skirt into a short one. One trend we’re seeing is crop sweatshirts, which can easily be done by cutting off a sweatshirt you find at Goodwill.
- Wear in a new way.
One thing we know for sure about fashionistas is that they’re creative. Wearing an oversized men’s dress shirt as a skirt? So cute! Wearing a dress as a tunic over jeans? Love it! Wearing an item in a new way is a form of upcycling because you’re using it in a different way than it was intended.
- Dye a new color.
Remember making tie-dye shirts in elementary school? You can do that with your clothes now, too! Using a stencil and some dye, you can add a new logo or quote to a plain shirt. Or add some character to a pair of pants by dipping the ends in some bleach.
- Cross over styles.
Creating your own style trends is way more fun than following other trends, don’t you think? You can wear a conservative top even if you tend to wear more bohemian styles. That’s the beauty of fashion. Wear something that’s out of your style comfort zone as a form of upcycling your clothes.
When you shop at Goodwill for clothes, you’re upcycling by honoring the former life of the item in a new way. Adding your own touch through embellishments, dye, or sheer creativity will truly give your clothing a new life.
Did you know that whatever we can’t sell at our stores, we recycle? It’s true. Learn more about how your shopping and donations make a difference in the community.