Whilst the shops have been shut during lockdown, we have all been forced to do things differently.  

If you’re like me, you might have spent most of the past few months wearing the same few items; pjs, onesies and jeans have been staple items for me.  

You might have bought some clothes online whilst the shops were shut.  

It’s quite nice opening a parcel with a new frock after all, if only we had somewhere to wear it!  

If you’re thinking of rushing out to the shops to replace your wardrobe as soon as lockdown ends, maybe consider where you are going to shop more carefully, is upcycling an option?  


Some fashion shops churn out polyester frocks which are sold really cheaply and end up in landfill, so choose your shop carefully. 

Charity shops have taken a big hit financially during lockdown and have some amazing things in stock.  

I like to buy cotton dresses and shirts in large sizes because you get more material that way. I then cut up the item and re-use the fabric to make something else such as a cushion cover or mobile phone holder.  

Long dresses can be shortened to make a tunic instead and the extra fabric re-cycled into a cushion or bag. You could even make a mini-me matching outfit!  

Denim jeans are a great buy because they are so versatile. Men’s large baggy jeans may not look stylish on the rack, but they have loads of denim which can be made into all sorts of exciting things such as denim plant pots, shopping bags and place mats.  

When it comes to women’s jeans, I buy two types: large baggy jeans and fancy jeans with amazing pockets. The pockets can be upcycled to make fabulous cross-over bags which are perfect for hand gel and face masks.  

Of course, sometimes it’s nice to buy new clothes and so I like to buy cotton dresses as polyester can’t be recycled.  

Before I buy new clothes, I check in the wardrobe to see if I can upcycle an existing item, like making a dress into a top, or jeans into shorts. Bobbly woolly jumpers can be cut up and make lovely cushion covers. 

Old T shirts are brilliant, especially in bright colours as you can make so many things from them. Would you believe that you can make a macrame plant hanger, shopping bag and a scarf out of T shirts? And, even better, no sewing is involved. At all!  

With a little thought, we can all change our clothes shopping habits so that we can look after our world, send less stuff to landfill, upcycle more and still look great! 


Please contact Hilary at Scrapadoo for more information on upcycling workshops in Cheshire. 

Find Scrapadoo on Facebook HERE.

– Hilary Belshaw 

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