Are We Turning Our Back On The ‘Throwaway’ Society?
Do you remember the time where hand-me-downs were part of everyday life? Rummaging through your sister’s out-grown clothes, finding home for Granny’s chest of drawers or fixing a puncture on the bike passed from your neighbour? It all changed when mass-produced goods and plastic flooded the shops in the 60s – wearing mended clothes or filling rooms with mismatched furniture wasn’t cool, and everyone wanted new. But is ‘make do and mend’ on its way back?
With horrifying images of plastic-choked oceans and overflowing landfill sites now filling our screens, it looks like the tide is turning. Are people embracing a more thrifty way of life again? The good news is that the answer seems to be a resounding ‘yes’. Many of us are thinking about what we buy and what we bin. Recycling is on the up – and it looks as if we’re re-learning that ‘new’ doesn’t always mean better.
JOIN THE UPCYCLE REVOLUTION
A fascinating blend of creativity, frugality and eco-awareness, upcycling is a great way to add value to something that would otherwise end up at the tip. The beauty of transforming a tired table with a lick of chalk paint, adding an embroidered patch to a denim jacket or turning a teacup into a candle, is that no one else will have the same piece. For people of all ages, it’s a chance to express your arty side and, thanks to the popularity of upcycled pieces, also a potential business venture, or a hobby to take up in your retirement years.
THE VALUE OF VINTAGE
Scouring charity shops for fashion is now a badge of style, rather than a stigma – what better way to add unique pieces to your wardrobe that don’t cost the earth? Charity shops are also recognising the value of vintage wear, boosting their funds by drawing in savvy shoppers looking for classic pieces at bargain prices. And Vintage Kilo Sales, where clothes are sold by weight, are popular with people, who love rummaging to find an eclectic look as well as good deal.
WE THINK YOU’LL LIKE
www.etsy.com/uk for handmade, vintage and unique upcycled items
www.gumtree.com and www.preloved.co.uk for second hand goods local to you
www.freecycle.org for free items in your town, to keep good stuff out of landfill
www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/vintage for second hand vintage fashion
www.redcross.org.uk/shop/vintage-and-designer-charity-shops for local branches with vintage outlets
www.thekilosale.com for vintage clothes and accessories sold by weight