5 Tips for an "Op Shop" Upcycling First Timer

Top Tips for an Op Shop Upcycling First Timer

Image courtesy of Project Fashion Ethiquette Insider


By Ethical Fashion Forum Contributor Rosie Helson

So what can we learn from Down Under? Well, quite cleverly, here in Australia a charity shop is actually called an ‘op shop’, where ‘op’ stands for ‘opportunity’… I think they are onto something.


Erica Louise Is an upcycling expert based in Melbourne. Upcycling can of course be done with clothes from your own wardrobe, or with items and textiles from an op shop.


Erica writes a Recycled Fashionblog and here gives FIVE TOP TIPS for op shop upcycling virgins:


  1. Before heading to your nearest op shop for a piece to cut up and restyle, firstly take a look through your own wardrobe, remembering the 80:20 rule: we wear 20% of our wardrobes, 80% of the time. This means we have a lot of unwanted clothes ready to have a play around with that are unworn due to the fit or a change in style. These items are a great place to start.
  2. Look through your partner’s wardrobe, but ask first before cutting. Mens shirts and suits are usually made of good quality fabric, and great to work into new designs.
  3. When looking in op shops for ‘new to you’ garments or textiles to add to existing items, look for fabric patterns that you like. Perhaps you are fond of geometric designs, vintage florals, or bird-printed fabric. It does not matter if the garment you pick is not your style; you can restyle a garment if you like the fabric.
  4. Colour is important. Make sure you choose a colour that suits you, or one that you like, and not necessarily a colour that is 'in'.
  5. Start with something simple and progress. The myriad of online tutorials will help here. Great beginner projects include a simple hem alteration, a bag made from jeans, or an upcycled t-shirt.

[To be continued...]

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