In November last year I went along to an Upcycling Workshop organised by TRAID, the charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. They aim to increase clothes reuse across the UK and reduce waste, carbon emissions and consumption. They fund international development projects to improve conditions and working practices in the textile industry. They also educate people about the impacts of textiles on the environment and people’s lives, and how we can make more sustainable choices.
To be honest, I didn’t go along for any ethical reasons, I just wanted some sewing advice, but the workshop had a big impact on me and made me realise the necessity of my challenge, in a society where disposable fashion has become the norm. We ignore the poor working conditions, the unfair wages, the unreasonable hours, the child labour and the lack of benefits for the workers in the sweatshops that make our clothes. But I can now proudly say that I have taken a step in the right direction to making more sustainable choices.
Surprisingly I was the only one at the workshop who knew what upcycling meant. So I arrived prepared with a bright yellow floral shirt dress that I didn’t wear much anymore because it wasn’t really flattering on me. I was drawn to the fabric and I still find it adorable so I thought I’d make my shirt dress into a much smaller, much cuter, much more complimentary dress for Scout.
Annoyingly I didn’t take any pictures of the dress before I started hacking it to pieces, but here is a shockingly bad photo of it at the point where I thought “Oh! I should have taken some photos”.
I still have some fabric left over which I’ll save for a future project. Waste not, want not!