As shoppers feel the pressure of the recession on their wallets – and the climate crisis causes many to reconsider their role in fast fashion – upcycling has become more essential than ever for anyone looking to expand their wardrobe. . Maybe your capsule wardrobe is starting to wear out over time, or the shelves at your local thrift store are filled with items that are only slightly different from the stylish autumn sweater you need. Whether you’re looking to breathe new life into items you already own or find a creative way to give used clothing a new home in your closet, TikTok has you covered. As trends such as “thrift flipping” – where consumers find unique ways to reuse second-hand goods – accumulate 2.6 billion views on the app, TikTok has become a treasure trove for used clothing recycling hacks.
TikToker Tia Hroubala, who has earned more than 200,000 followers on the app for her many unique upcycling techniques, says her main motivation for thrift shopping is sustainability. “It gives me so much joy to use an item that’s only seconds away from ending up in the landfill,” says Hrubala. It’s for this reason that she prioritizes looking in the sales rack of her local thrift store. “There’s a 50-cent rack full of items that have been sitting, unwanted, in the store for at least five weeks,” she says, “There’s so much potential in these items, and if they’re not not bought, they usually go to the dump.”
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, eco-friendly hobby, or just need some advice on what to do with that $3 sweater you couldn’t pass up despite its oil stain , there are many techniques that can quickly transform your article. from the trash can to the treasure. From painted spots to seamless transformations, here are some of the best recycling tips TikTok has to offer.
1. Find pieces with unique details
TikToker Thrift-flipping @caitconquers often encourages subscribers to focus on finding items with unique details when searching for thrift stores. You can use an eye-catching pattern or design as the focal point for your reimagined garment. “If a garment has a neckline, texture, etc. interesting ones, I will keep those aspects and work around them,” says Hrubala.
2. Learn to make simple edits
Have you ever stumbled upon the perfect find only to realize that its size just isn’t right for you? No matter what you’re working with, there’s often a way to modify your garment to better suit your needs. Of course, modifications are more feasible if you are able to sew, as shown in @ysabelhilado‘s TikTok of an upcycled jacket.
3. Learn basic sewing skills
While knowing how to sew isn’t essential for thrift shopping, it can dramatically expand the possibilities of your upcycling adventures. Additionally, Hrubala points out that thrift flipping is a great way for people to learn how to sew using fabric that isn’t too expensive. If you are totally new to this, hashtags like #sewing tutorial and #sewing can point you in the right direction.
4. Bypass cosmetic damage
It is not uncommon for a garment or accessory in perfect condition to end up at GoodWill due to a minor cosmetic defect. A small stain or pilling can often be the deciding factor for clothing owners to donate a piece. But like TikToker @cared for reminds viewers that there is almost always a way to fix cosmetic damage. For pilling, you can use a fabric razor to renew the appearance of the item. If there is a stain, Neat recommends painting a small design on the stain – like cartoon cherries on a handbag.
5. Use no-sew techniques to upcycle clothes
If you’re looking to recycle but can’t sew, fear not. While sewing can certainly expand the possibilities of your upcycling activities, you can do a lot with a simple pair of scissors or even a nifty tie. Look for “#not sew” on TikTok if you need technical inspiration.
6. Get creative with the purpose of an article.
As Hrubala showed with his “30 Days of Scarves” series, it helps to get creative with the typical purpose of an item when recycling vintage clothing. She demonstrated how a scarf can be used as a shirt, bandana, shawl and more. Do not limit your imagination to the destination of a garment. Shorts can be recycled into a tank top. A shirt can become a corset. You get the essentials.