Embracing Nostalgia and Circularity
Credit: Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
A shipwreck transformed into an upscale restaurant. Vintage Coca-cola bottles turned into block-colored bud vases. A stunning chandelier made from old bicycle wheels. And a buttoned-down dress that was once a pair of jeans.
There’s something charming about blowing the soul back into broken items and worn-out pieces. Also referred to as sustainable fashion, upcycling is the hottest new trend in the fashion world as it is becoming increasingly apparent that the fusion between style and ethics is precious.
Our immediate usage and throwaway culture have contributed to 18.6 million tonnes of clothing waste in 2020, proving that the fashion industry is on an unsustainable path. Consumers abandon an average of 60% of their clothing during their first year of purchase, meaning that most clothes end up in a landfill because fast fashion requires turnover, not attachment.
Society is learning that real value lies beyond consumerism. Fashion circularity refers to a process where all garments can be reused, recycled, or returned to earth to reduce carbon footprint and the strain on natural resources. The truth is, fabric production utilizes a lot of resources and it is irresponsible for us to continue to ignore the fact that the earth’s resources are not finite. We don't have time to be indifferent.
Refashioning is the ultimate form of self-expression and it allows us to constantly reinvent ourselves by drawing inspiration from everyday life, nature, music, art, and culture. To truly revolutionize the way we deal with “clothing waste” we have to shift our perception to view waste as a resource instead of a hassle. We do this by embracing nostalgia and circularity.
So how can we give our old pieces a new lease on life?
Let’s start with these small but impactful steps to get you started on your eco- journey. We’re going to show you a few ways you can repurpose your old Bench apparel and get your creative DIY juices flowing.
You are what you wear, after all, so put an authentic "you" spin on it.
Living an active lifestyle can mean anything from fighting bears to doing an on-demand cartwheel at a kid's birthday party, and sometimes our hoodies pay the price of the thrill we get from being spontaneous. Don't throw your damaged hoodies away though! Revamp them into a dangerously cozy poncho for your next camping trip into the woods. Sew your cut-outs in alternate square patches for a more funky look. Can also be made into a blanket or extra soft play mat.
Add a pop of island sun to your living room by repurposing your tropical prints into colorful pillows to make your guests feel l like they’re cruising down the Caribbean coastline. Do you have a set of coasters that haven't come out of the kitchen cupboard in ages? Cut the flowery prints out in the shape of your cup coasters, use glue or sew them in, and voila! You’re ready to host a cocktail party and serve the freshest drinks in town.
Say goodbye to boring change pockets! Originally intended for men to safely store their pocket watches it’s a wonder why some jeans still have them. Give your jeans or favorite joggers a twist by patching the pocket up with your tie-dyed sweater that's run out of places to go. Alternatively, you can embellish the collars of a classic polo in that same way to give your date a little peek into your boho-chic personality.