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  • Abi Terry

Upcycling tips from Handmade.byIssy

Updated: May 15, 2023


I worked with Issy from Handmade.byIssy (from TikTok) to showcase what you can do in regards to upcycling. She is the queen of the modern day idea of ‘make do and mend’. When working with her on the shoot I asked her to write what are her top ten tips to upcycling fashion, this is what she said:


  1. Using what you already have is the most sustainable thing to do - rewear, borrow and lend clothing instead of buying new.

  2. Learning how to mend and extend the life of a garment to get as much use out of it as possible. If it no longer fits for wear, can it be used or made into anything else? A cleaning cloth or pencil case?

  3. Shopping second hand is one of the easiest and most accessible things you can do. It may take longer to find something perfect, but it’s worth it in the end.

  4. Remember that someone made your clothes. Machines are used in the manufacturing process but the majority of garments have to be assembled by hand. If the price of a garment is really low, think about the people who made your clothes and if the price of the item would generate a fair wage for them.

  5. Buy less, but buy better quality. The more expensive something is the more you will value it, and keep it for longer.

  6. Read the care labels. If you can look after your clothes properly you can make them last for years and years.

  7. Try selling old clothes before donating them to a charity shop. A lot of donated clothes actually go to landfill or pollute other countries, so try selling first and then donate anything you can’t sell, plus it makes you a bit of extra cash!

  8. Have a sort through of your wardrobe fairly regularly and make sure to try and wear everything you own (in seasons of course).

  9. When shopping try not to buy something that’s very similar to what you already own, and try to buy things that will last and that you will want to wear for years to come.

  10. Keep an eye out for green washing. Many brands will say they’re all for the environment when in fact they’re the exact opposite. Try to shop from transparent brands and have an awareness of when a brand is greenwashing.


If you want to find out more about how to mend and re-make your clothing into something new then head over to Handmade.byIssy TikTok where she has lots of different quick videos that show you step by step what you can do.



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