21 Mar 2009

Don't throw it out! Fix it!

I followed a link today that SwirlyArts put up on Twitter and it lead me to a site I have seen before but forgotten about, so thank you Swirly for reminding me of it. The site was Wardrobe Refashion and if you have never heard about it I urge you to go and take a look. It has been set up by Nichola Prested a fellow UK crafter that relocated to Australia in 2004. The basic idea is that people pledge to refrain from buying new clothes for a period of time. It can be one month, 2 months, 6 months or for life... whatever time scale you feel able to achieve. In that pledged time, instead of running off to the shops to buy new clothes when you need them you will either have to repair, repurpose or recycle clothes and fabrics into the garments you need.

I think it is a fantastic way to encourage people to be less wasteful and to encourage people to learn new skills. The site has lots of examples of what people have made and plenty of the people share how they made/repaired the items they are showcasing. Imagine just how much waste would be eliminated if we all jumped in and pledged to do this... So who is up for joining in and making the pledge?

These people are already recycling fabrics and fibers, so if you don't feel creative enough to do it yourself, then go to the handmade sites and type in "Recycled" into the search engines and find people that will do the crafting work for you.

Kaboogie has a shop full of recycled leather shoes and boots. I couldn't resist featuring these cute red suede Mary Janes.

Knit Nats had reclaimed this yarn from a merino wool sweater and then hand died it to get these pretty shades of red and pink. Now you can make whatever you need from it.

Taking a mixture of lovingly pre used sweaters and fitting them together in new ways is one of Spicy's talents. These arm warmers are a perfect example.

Are you looking for a hat to finish off that perfect outfit? Original Sample has just the thing for you. Again this hat is made from previously loved fabric and has vintage button embelishments.

Kenspeckle created this beautiful hoody by repurposing fabric from other clothing and then hand dyed it to get the beautiful shades of colour you now see.

All these people above have one thing in common. They are making a difference. They are not allowing perfectly good fabric to go to waste by reinventing them into other wonderfully useful items. More power to their elbow! I say lets all pledge to support them and rejoice in their recycling, upcycling, repurposing talented ways!


  1. I think wardrobe refashion is an ace idea. I did it the first year they started it, two years ago now and it really made me look at the things I had in my wardrobe and make them into something that I wanted to wear again.
    More importantly though, it helps to remind you that we need to stop throwing perfectly good clothes away and to make good use of them.
    I use recycled fabrics for some of my bags and the material is perfect, yet people would have thrown it out.

  2. I love wardrobe refashion, I check it out every day. People make some brilliant things. I also use pre-loved fabrics to make everything that I sell.

  3. Good post. Everyone needs to recycle and spend less.

  4. Wow! Thanks so much! I am in tremendous company! I love recycling. Mom did it. Today making pillows from an ultrasuede skirt. It's like Christmas, seeing what will evolve from something old!

  5. very cool! I have some old dresses that I am gonna make into pillow covers. Beautiful fabric but the dresses do not fit me anymore.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing. It's really got me thinking about what I have in my closet that I can recycle!

  7. Great article! I am experimenting with making beads from recycled bits at the moment & have jewellery made from recycled jeans.

  8. oh my gosh. I can't believe that yarn was reclaimed! I'm shamed! I would have forked out at least $20 for it! I gots to get me some dye!

  9. Thanks for all the lovely comments.

    Remember that sometimes reclaiming materials such as woollen yarn from sweaters takes skill and time. You need to look for sweaters that have either been hand knitted originally, as they will have continuous strands of yarn, or machine knitted garments that don't have serge seamed/over locked seams. Seams that have over locked/serge seams often suggest that the item isn't knitted from one continuous yarn, and when you unravel it you will end up with hundreds of small strands of thread.

  10. Great post, Kaboogie has some a great ideas and already has a link on my website, too.


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