As I rolled out of bed this morning, I opened my window to find quite a surprise – there had been an explosion of fashion on my front lawn! While I talked about some of the environmental pitfalls of the fashion industry in an earlier post, there’s no denying that a new outfit can make you feel great. One of the best ways to lessen the social and environmental impacts of fashion is to shop second hand. Lucky for me, this morning I didn’t need to go far.
Yard sales have always been a great way to transform unwanted items into non-wastes through reuse. But my fellow neighbour and talented fashionista of Jool clothing who was set up on the front lawn this morning has taken the yard sale concept to a whole new level, creating a unique boutique shopping experience. Many of the items on display were upcycled with new life and value restored to materials that may have otherwise been declared waste. Vintage pieces were creatively altered to reflect current styles while second-hand materials and fabric scraps were used to create stylish new tops, headbands, even cat toys! The upcycled fashion trend is well established in Toronto with the successful business Preloved having achieved the ultimate prize in the fashion world with Hollywood stars spotted sporting their gear. Since 13 million tonnes of textiles are trashed each year in the US hopefully upcycling is a trend that will continue and spread.
So next time you want something “new” to spruce up your wardrobe, try your hand at some creative alternations of your own, check out a local vintage store, or maybe take a walk around your neighbourhood. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.