What you wear and what you buy and how you buy your clothes impacts the planet. It’s shocking to learn the apparel and footwear industries are responsible for 8 percent of the global climate impact. Total greenhouse gas emissions related to textile production are equal to 1.2 billion tons annually or more than all international flights and maritime shipping trips combined each year. Fast fashion is leading the charge on this impact and that means your clothing choices can have a negative or positive impact on global warming.
Upcycling and repurposing used clothing is one creative way to reduce your carbon footprint and something I have been doing for 10 years. Out of wool sweaters, ties, shirts, socks, wool blankets, coats, jackets, buttons, bottle caps, zippers, resistors, floppy disc centers, old aluminum coins, fabric scraps, aluminum cans and other curiosities, I have designed a line of upcycled clothing and created a line of bottle cap bead jewelry. Most of the materials I use in my art practice are recycled and repurposed.
For my line of clothing, I cannibalize wool sweaters to make my hats. Every part of the sweater is used for making hats and the leftover pieces are fashioned into flowers, polka dots and birds for decoration. The ribbing of the sweaters become tree trunks and leaves. I even save the labels of all the sweaters I cut up and use them for embellishment. In the end, the entire sweater has been used for in some way in my fashion line.
My line of shirts and coats are repurposed and embellished with embroidery, buttons, rosettes made out of men’s ties or socks, lace dollies or whatever suits my fancy. I am always on the lookout for new ways to use cast off items in my line of clothing and jewelry. Each item in my line of clothing and jewelry is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation and eco-friendly.