WWC July Update and a thought on Upcycling

Well in July I found a new addiction,  eBay. I like the idea of giving something a new home, I have my reservations on second hand clothing as this is not the way to solve the over-consumption problems that we are experiencing. In some respects it could be considered that it enhances them as it suggests that no matter how much we buy we can always offload items that we no longer want. The amount of items that contain the BNWT description suggests that people continue to buy items that they are unsure of and while better to eBay or give to charity than to let them languish in the wardrobe it would be better still if the items had not been bought or indeed made! With this idea in mind I am curtailing my eBay bidding and trying to stay away from the charity shops – I am donating some big bags of my unloved clothing (and an eBay purchase – oops) to charity shops but I am running in and running out 🙂

So on to mention what I bought (seriously looking at my won history in the My eBay section is mildly worrying) and to the items I have removed from my wardrobe to make space for them.

    • 1 pair of black shorts – excellent condition, the clothing brand is Warehouse not know for its ethical policy. I did a straight swap with these ones – my old black shorts went to the charity shop, they were still in good condition just too big for me and no longer flattering
    • 1 dress with embellishment – great condition, the clothing brand is French Connection – another label I have stopped buying from. To allow this one space in my wardrobe I actually took another dress I had that was baggy and shapeless and cut it up into dusters. I had thought this dress would be suitable for wearing to weddings but frankly the length is far too short and instead it will make a lovely going out dress when teamed with leggings. Another note, it is slightly too tight and while I never usually buy or keep things that are too tight I am still not able to run as much as normal and therefore assume the extra few pounds is due to the fact I haven’t altered my diet accordingly.

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    • 2 playsuits (!) – you read that right, not one but two playsuits *sigh*. Well this is the part where I confess that one I have wanted a playsuit for a while and two I do not suit them and need to accept that. The first one I won was a lovely black one with a leopard print collar but unfortunately I couldn’t raise my arms above shoulder height without causing myself a lot of pain – this meant I couldn’t do it up properly. So what did I do? Handed this one onto a friend and bid on one in the Tall section. Well when I received that one I just looked like a grade A twerp in it. So much for playsuits – lesson learnt there although if in August’s round up I even mention a playsuit if someone could come give me a slap I would appreciate it! Both of these items have been passed on to others.
    • 1 dress- originally Oasis – the only item I bought that I would say has clearly been used before. It is a nice print and I will keep it but it is faded. It is also very short for a dress so I will be using it more as a tunic, I have also placed a bright pink tank top into the charity shop bag for this item in the one-in and one-out idea!

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    • Tweed purse – Ness. It is lovely and I had been needing a new purse. Plus it is Harris tweed which I adore.
    • 1 jumper – Seasalt. This is another brilliant purchase as it is almost brand new but with that lovely worn feeling that Seasalt cotton clothing has. This item has already been worn by me on numerous occasions. The downside here is that as yet nothing has been moved out of the wardrobe to make space for it. I think a pair of red trousers will probably move on to make room.

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As you can see these items are a real mix of clothing companies and I won’t tell you the money I spent as I am embarrassed.

The final idea I want to mention this month is upcycling – upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. (wikipedia’s definition there folks). Now while I appreciate upcycling doesn’t remove all the sticky issues with second hand clothing I feel it has a few positives which I really like. Firstly, there are a fair few companies such as Traid Remade who use the discarded fabrics and make them into something therfore reducing the waste. There are companies such as  Antiform and Fix Up Look Sharp who take used clothing and fabric and turn it into something new, I haven’t bought from either of these companies yet although I particularly fancy this jumper and the idea behind it appeals to me massively. What is also nice about upcycling is that a brand that I would tend to associate with fast fashion has started to take note – Motel Rocks. Their upcycled collection while small is a nice step that suggests the idea of reducing waste material is on their radar but it is still in keeping with the style aesthetic that their consumers want from them.

I remember reading a piece about why stopping buying clothes or reducing consumption would be bad for the economy and I appreciate this idea however I would suggest that buying from small companies investing in sustainable practices would be a better alternative than buying from brands where the sustainability and ethical policies are less than transparent and that we can all afford to buy a little less and it won’t do any harm.

This is where upcycling also falls into my thinking I love the idea of helping a small business grow and also help with the reduction of the waste materials from the fashion industry. I also plan to upcycle a few items myself – I am turning some trousers into shorts and hopefully some jeans into a pencil skirt (my mother’s phrase of ‘That’s sooo easy’ – may not prove to be true). So what do others think of upcycling?

Miles run: 4.5!! Woo hoo – it may be walk/running but the ankle is holding up

Coupons Remaining: 14 – no coupons spent this month 🙂

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4 thoughts on “WWC July Update and a thought on Upcycling”

  1. Haha, I love your comments about the playsuits! I’m the same with above knee shorts – I LOVE how they look on other people they make me look like a cross between a shipmate and a prize berk. But I still keep trying them on…

    eBay is tough, as you rightly point out, it is super hard to know what things will look like in the flesh or indeed how they will fit. I think so long as second hand eBay purchases that aren’t what you wanted are passed on in some way then you don’t need to feel bad 🙂

    The concept of upcycling is great and I am all for it. I’m not very good at doing it myself, but agree with you that it not only uses up waste but helps support small businesses and can turn something distinctly uncool into something awesome. I particularly love Who Made Your Pants?, who use leftover lace from the lingerie industry.

    Take it easy with the running 🙂 Nik x

    1. Thanks! What is it about certain types of clothing you don’t suit that you are still drawn to – totally unfair 😉
      That brand Who Made Your Pants? is ace, I know where I will be buying from the next time. I reckon I will be terrible at upcycling, I will be sure to post pictures to allow everyone a good laugh!
      Steph x

  2. You really do hit the nail on the head about how much we buy because we love the idea of a style even though it does not love us. I think it gets better as the years pass, you get to know what you wear well and what wears you, but it takes some experimentation to get there.

    I am all for upcycling too. True waste should be minimal because a lot of waste can be used as an input for other processes. It is an age old idea that we are slowly rediscovering. E.g. the “rag and bone man” of decades ago did exactly that: he collected rags and bones which he sold to companies which produced shoddy – a lesser quality cloth for – on the one hand, and factories that ground bone into fertiliser on the other.

    Take care with the running. I read about the twist whilst testing the trail shoes. I hope it gets easier with a gentle steady return to the roads/trails. I am loving getting some more miles in my legs!

    1. Hey. I definitely agree with the idea we need to revisit some of the old ideas on reducing waste. I think a fair few of us tend to waste more than we should on the domestic level let alone the industrial! Yeah the running is two steps forward then one step back at the moment, the sub 2hr half marathon just keeps moving further away but I will get there!

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