We live in a throwaway culture, where goods are produced so quickly and at such a low quality that we simply use them for a little while and then dispose of them. When it comes to clothing, our quick fix for replacing out of date garments is to head to fast fashion retailers that produce disposable items using unfairly compensated labor.
Not only does that keep us in an artificial cycle of constant consumption, it results in a vast amount of trash, much of which doesn’t biodegrade. There’s a big problem with polyester garments in particular breaking down into tiny pieces and flowing into our oceans, harming marine life and contaminating own sources of drinking water.
But breaking out of this cycle doesn’t have to mean giving in to a life of perpetually being out of fashion. One fun way to keep your wardrobe up to date is to transform thrift store finds and items we don’t love anymore into something new.
Upcycled designs often emphasize radical do-it-yourself transformations, but some of the most simple ideas can have dramatic impacts. These clothing conversions illustrate the ease with which people can upcycle ordinary objects and make them extraordinary, turning formless junk shirts clothes into elegant tops, bottoms and sexy dresses.
Mari Santos does more than just recycle small-scale clothing extras into new, well-fitting and sufficiently stylish upcycled outfits – she shows how much potential exists in upcycling extremely plain everyday objects, things we would normally trash without a second look.
A baggy t-shirt is one of the most ubiquitous items of excess clothing you can find in almost any closet. These ill-fitting and over-sized extras have a lot more potential than most people realize – from make-your-own dresses to two-piece tops and much more. If you don’t have the sewing skills to DIY upcycled fashions like these, there’s no time like now to learn — but you might also be able to find someone locally to do it for you. Plus, there are lots of sellers on Etsy producing recycled t-shirt fashions.