Your sustainable sewing project against fast fashion!
I always find it frightening how fast-paced the fashion industry has become and how often clothes that are actually good are thrown away and thrown away. Either because the quality isn't right or simply because the products are no longer up to date. Incredibly many resources are required for this zeitgeist. Key word: fast fashion.
Simply unbelievable: The textile industry is now the second most polluting industry, right after the oil industry.
Are you really as powerless as you feel when you deal with the individual numbers? And what can I as an individual do about it?
Here are a few thoughts and tips on how you can personally declare war on fast fashion:
Before making any purchase, think carefully about whether you really need the new item of clothing. If so, then when you buy, choose quality that lasts longer, clothing that has been produced and traded fairly.
Understandably, these garments are more expensive. But you also have something of it for longer. So it makes sense to buy fashion that is as timeless as possible.
Second-hand as a countertrend:
A super sustainable solution is of course second-hand clothing! Because what is not produced from scratch saves all the water, CO2 emissions and chemicals!
The used clothing market is indeed flooded, but if you try to get rid of your well-preserved clothing and invest your time and leisure, you will be amazed at how high the demand in the second-hand sector can be.
Well-preserved items of clothing can be donated to institutions that help people in need, for example, or they can be given to second-hand shops. Online, too, more and more people are consciously looking for second-hand goods on second-hand platforms. Flea market apps are also becoming more and more popular.
And it should be noted: dusty was yesterday! Today, second-hand fashion is an expression of one's own attitude towards life. When buying second-hand clothing, it's not about the next short-lived kick, but about the search for the unique item. And best of all: Second-hand clothing is both sustainable and cheap.
One of many great online platforms where you can search for your favorite unique piece is secondlifefashion.de.
At Stiftung Warentest you will not only find tips for selling clothes, but also a detailed comparison of the 11 most common portals for second-hand fashion: www.test.de/used-clothing-sales-5812062-0/
Upcycling - creative and varied!
Disused items of clothing do not have to end up in the garbage, but can be wonderfully recycled and processed. Make something out of it and take your time for your individual and creative sewing project. The end result will surely be an original fashion piece, one of a kind that no one else has. Also combined with new fabrics, wonderful UPCYCLING projects can be created with disused pieces. Zippers, buttons, buckles... you can of course upcycle everything that is still intact. This means that there is no waste and the materials do not have to be re-produced.
In addition to numerous books on upcycling ideas and tips, you will also find plenty of inspiration online, a wide variety of patterns and sewing instructions that are specifically aimed at creating something new from old clothes.
Here are some inspirations:
Children's summer dress made from old t-shirt:
Hair clip utensil made from old curtain, scarf and summer pants:
Repair fashion – can also be fun:
Are you attached to your favorite piece and would you rather repair it than cut it up and use it again? Then there are no limits to your creativity and there are numerous variants, options and methods to repair broken clothing. Keyword REPAIRFASHION.
Refashion – individuality can help:
As soon as you visibly and artfully repair your garment and thus change the style of the garment, one speaks of REFASHION, which is also a very important contribution in the fight against fast fashion. Changing clothes doesn't always have to be time-consuming. A sewn-on skirt is also referred to as a refashion. New life is breathed into the garment that is no longer worn in its original form and it is made wearable again.
The boundaries to upcycling are fluid.
DIY fashion also for beginners:
Basically, beginners should start with simple pieces. If you are looking for inspiration for your first attempts, you will quickly find it online. And once you've started, you won't stop anytime soon. Because whether upcycling, refashion or repair fashion... old becomes new, is simply fun and is not only sustainable, but also creative and inspiring.
You can find initial inspiration for a great upcycling or refashion project here:
What is downcycling all about?
The question here is: is upcycling always sustainable?
For example, what about upcycling projects that are made from clothing that is still wearable?
Imagine that you have seen a great upcycling guide for a shoulder bag and are happy that you found a sweater in the closet that you no longer wear anyway and can therefore cut up - is it still upcycling - or rather a so-called DOWNCYCLING. You may no longer like the well-preserved sweater, but it could still be used for someone else. One can wonder if your sewing project would actually be sustainable in this case.
Alternatively, of course, you can think about how you can turn the sweater into a great refashion project, which will give you an individual sweater afterwards that you will enjoy wearing again.
But even if there may be some truth to the term downcycling, which is discussed in some forums, one should definitely bear in mind during the debate that so-called "closet corpses" don't get any better from lying around. And if you make something that you really need and you don't have to buy new fabric for it, you do
use the pullover that you no longer wear anyway, then it is very sustainable.
And not every piece of clothing that is in good condition can be resold. Then it's better to sew something new out of it and it's best to pay attention to little waste when sewing and treat the "old" fabric in the same way as newly bought ones.
DIY clothing – individuality as the magic word:
DIY clothing not only saves resources and protects the environment, but those who sew it themselves automatically stand out from the crowd. And basically doesn't everyone want to be something special? Individuality leads to sustainability here! And the proverb "Clothes make the man" comes into its own with simple means and in two senses.
And finally ...
We think: Even small things can make a difference. It is worth including refashion and upcycling in your everyday sewing! Just try it out and tell us about your experiences. We are looking forward to it!
Also: You can do even more – namely create awareness.
The topic of sustainability in connection with the textile industry is actually not a new topic. And yet many do not know which chain of connections is triggered when you buy fast fashion. Maybe you have friends, family, colleagues with whom an exchange about it is possible. Ask your circle of friends how full the wardrobes are, how often you buy something new and why that is. Maybe then you will not be alone with your sustainable sewing projects. And together it's a lot more fun.
In our blog article on "sustainable sewing" you will find even more tips for your sewing project in the fight against fast fashion. https://truefabrics.de/2022/04/06/10-tipps-fuer-nachhaltiges-naehen/