Why You Should Upcycle Your Clothes

Recently, I had to write an editorial paper for my communications 201 class. Now when my professor assigned this, of course, I was not looking forward to writing yet another paper. But, he told us to pitch him three topics and whatever one he thinks is best, we write about.

So, when I was thinking about my pitches, I was trying to decide what I really felt like spending my time writing about. If I’m being given the choice to write about any topic, I would rather write about something enjoyable or at least interesting to me.

That’s when I stumbled upon an idea: fashion!

I live, eat, and breathe fashion and beauty in my personal life, to be honest. Not just what outfits are on the mannequins in the Forever 21 store window, but actually the designs, the runway, and the purpose of fashion all around the world.

So, I thought, okay, how can I make this topic that I love so much into something that I can write an editorial about? And then I thought more about where I like to shop, which is the thrift store.

I’m big into sewing and making my own clothes, so the thrift store is heaven to me. So, looking more into this topic, I discovered that by buying second hand and making my own clothes, I was helping the environment without even realizing it.

As it turns out, nearly 3.8 billions pounds of textiles end up in landfills every year, according to the BioMed Environmental Health Journal.

This is majorly due to the rise of “fast fashion” companies. A majority of these companies are many well-known brands, such as FashionNova, MissGuided, and Forever 21.

These companies capitalize off of quick trends by constantly making new products for sale. This hyperspeed-cycle results in consumers throwing away their garments faster than they normally would. Since styles are so temporary, there will always be a desire for new clothing that follows the latest trend.

So, where do all of these thrown-away garments end up? Well, some of them will end up in thrift stores, but a majority will undoubtedly end up in landfills. With more trash being added to our environment, this source of pollution is happening faster than ever before due to fast fashion companies. 

In my opinion, this cycle is not only toxic to the environment, but also for the individual. Whatever happened to individuality? Why is it that women are primarily targeted to buy clothing from these companies, only for that same purchase to be thrown away in the near future?

In a society that is always evolving, it is no wonder why fashion is basically reinvented every other week. Which is why it is so difficult for normal, 9-5 human beings to keep up with what is “in” and what is ”out.”

So, this brings me to the focus of my article: UPCYCLE YOUR CLOTHES! This is so important, so much more important than ever before.

By wearing secondhand, or upcycling, old clothes into something new, you are helping the environment! Go you!

Thrifting has always been so fun to me, but now? Girl, I’m going OFF at Savers next time I go. The thing I love the most about thrifting and upcycling is that 99% of the time (that percentage is not based on real math, just an assumption by me), nobody else will be wearing the same thing.

When I sew, I do it because I see styles on the runway, on celebrities, on the street, and I think… wow, I love that, let me go try and make it. It’s satisfying because when I wear my own clothes, I feel more confident and comfortable.

So, in summation, the environment needs us to help her, because Mother Nature didn’t make this earth just for us to throw some raggedy shirt from the Forever 21 sale rack into a landfill! The earth, like humans, can heal if only we help her get to that point.


You may not think there is a way to help save the environment in your daily life, but wearing a dad sweatshirt from 2008 that you found at Goodwill instead of a t-shirt made by an underpaid worker in a sweatshop is definitely a way to start.


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