The Power of Upcycled Fashion 

by Jaclyn Patterson, Wardrobe Stylist, Founder of Shopwise 

What first comes to mind when you think of upcycled fashion? 

When I first started my career 8 years ago as a Wardrobe Stylist in sustainable fashion, the concept of sustainability wasn’t very cool or mainstream. Upcycling was an unfamiliar term. And it was challenging to come across stylish, wearable and functional upcycled fashion pieces, especially compared to what’s available today. But luckily things have changed and the industry has made some progress…Nowadays, there is so much more selection of conscious products within fashion that we can wear and use with pride. To me, upcycled means extending the life of materials already available to us. Using innovation to create new products that we can love and use with pride. It is contributing to a circular economy and creating a better fashion future. 

Why Bother with Upcycling?

With the rise of our global climate crisis, it has never been so important to create, support and buy products that consider both people and planet The global apparel industry is responsible for approximately 10% of global carbon emissions, that’s more than both shipping and flying combined. 92 million tonnes of textile waste is created annually by the fashion industry, while fashion waste is costing the global economy $400 billion every year. The fashion industry is essentially creating new products that are used for a short-term duration, and then sent to landfill, polluting our earth and the people who make our products from start to finish. Upcycling clothes and accessories can break this cycle and provide a solution to the ongoing wasteful industry. 

The Future of Fashion

It has been an inspiring experience to witness so many upcycled clothing and accessories brands becoming increasingly more popular over the last decade. So many brands like Brave Soles are helping to lead by example on how to repurpose old materials into something new that we can love and wear. Rather than focusing on a linear economy system, upcycled means reducing landfill waste and repurposing materials into new products. 

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Brave Soles - Ademas

You would never know that your Brave Soles accessories are made from reclaimed leather and upcycled tire soles. They even have an entire 'Aircraft' collection dedicated to repurposing airplane leather into accessories.

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MUD Jeans

That these stylish and durable MUD Jeans are upcycled from old worn out denim. 

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Chic Made Consciously

Or that wearable and beautiful jewellery like these Chic Made Consciously rings are be made from repurposed brass. 

As consumers, we can vote with our dollar from businesses that are choosing to incorporate circular and more sustainable practices into their products. Tell me, have you shopped upcycled before?

Join us in the journey of supporting conscious, sustainable, repurposed products made with purpose! It’s time to end the old stigma around upcycled fashion, and celebrate the conscious and stylish products we can use today that are supporting a better fashion future. 

by Jaclyn Patterson, Wardrobe Stylist, Founder of Shopwise 


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