The term upcycled clothing has been floating around for a few years with a lot of different meanings. It’s time to clarify and confirm what it really means. Upcycled clothing is taking gently used clothes, breaking them down and using the material to make a new piece of clothing. But not all gently used clothes should be used to make a new upcycled item.
Upcycled Clothing Into Quality
The best-upcycled clothing is garments made with older quality garments. Not all vintage clothing can be worn again, some of it is quite corny. But taking those garments and reworking them into a modern garment is upcycling. It should be a high-quality garment that will also last. The coat shown above from Mayer Peace Collection is made from parachute material, which is extremely durable. This was a small capsule collection that was created entirely from old materials such as flour sacks and old military jackets. You can read more about this collection here. I know what you’re thinking you’re probably saying, I can’t afford it but you can’t afford not to buy quality.
It`s Not Eco-Conscious
Those who buy fast fashion (cheap low-grade clothing) spend more money in a year than those who invest in their clothes. Retailers like H&M who have produced an eco-conscious line are using left-over materials to produce this line. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re buying something good. You’re still buying low-grade, poorly constructed cheaply made clothing that will not last.
I bought this t-shirt from the H&M eco-conscious line a couple of years ago. It’s still intact, but within a year my white t-shirt turned grey and pilly. I was really disappointed. I never believed this eco-conscious line from H&M was a sincere collection to reduce waste but I wanted to give it the benefit of doubt. I believed it was created to distract from the fact that H&M got caught throwing away thousands in unused clothing. Adding to the landfill problem we now have today. Therefore is the eco-conscious line from H&M reducing waste or are they still creating more rebranded fast fashion?