Explaining Upcycling

While the idea of recycling is thankfully a common household word, the term "upcycling" is still relatively new. Usually attributed to William McDonough's book, Cradle to Cradle, from 2002, "upcycling" is not simply taking a disposable material and reusing it in a similar fashion, but actually increasing its value in its second life. This trend has certainly taken off in the area of clothing, with designers, stay-at-home moms, and every seamster/seamstress in between using unwanted clothing as a resource for one-of-a-kind creations. Some of our local favorites are featured in etsy stores, transforming men's dress shirts into cute pinafores (lillipops), extending the life of vintage t-shirts (little overcoat) and turning strips of clothing into twirly skirts (madrone berries). Tackling textile industry reform is a huge undertaking, but for now, upcycling is one reasonable (and creative) solution.

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