Trends come and go throughout the years, decorating our closets with their colors and whims, similar fashions walking both the runways and the streets downtown. Despite the flimsy longevity of our beloved clothes, we’re still stuck with the clothes that these trends leave behind, plagued with low rise jeans and jelly flip flops, that is, unless you upcycle.
Upcycling is when you take old clothes or things in your house and jazz them up with alterations or additives, like cutting off the sleeves, adding patches or even distressing them. And the best part is, it's super easy.
So, in case you’ve missed out on possibly the greatest revelation of the last few decades so far, or just haven’t been motivated enough to start, here’s seven reasons you should start upcycling as a college student.
1. It will save you money.
Since learning how to sew my freshman year of high school, I’ve loved making things with patterns and sometimes even without, but it never crossed my mind to use old clothes that didn’t fit anymore until I couldn’t make it to Joanne’s one weekend, not having the money for a new project.
Money is a huge advantage to upcycling. It’s using stuff that you already own, making the whole thing free. And, more often than not you don’t even need a sewing machine. A quick Youtube tutorial, pair of scissors and sewing kit should do you just fine. You can also use items you find around the house for more function purposes like re-purposed crates as tables and old forks bent to make hooks for coats.So, let that extra dough rain towards your other expenses. As college students, we know we could all use a little more of it.
2. The environment will thank you.
Sure, upcycling won’t cure global warming, but it does do something. Being conscious of what you waste is important for forming a more holistic approach to caring for your environment. Paint that broken dresser, just add a few screws and handles and make it look brand new. Make old coffee grind cans and add labels for a cute and natural herb garden on your dorm window sill. Everything that doesn’t end up in the landfill is another step towards progress.
3. You'll stay on trend through the semester.
Again with the fickle trends, it seems impossible at times to dress appropriate for the times. Still, don’t throw away those peasant tops that all your middle school friends said were “So fetch!” Instead, alter and add elastic around the neckline to get the perfect off-the-shoulder top. Pinterest is your friend, trust me, just don’t get too lost in the possibilities. You’ll have pieces all of your own creation that still stays up to date, while you are able to make it exactly how you want it. Everyone on campus will be asking where you got it. Maybe you’ll spread the upcycling bug. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
4. They'll stay as the freshman 15 appears.
Everyone in high school thinks that the “Freshman 15” is a myth. And yet, every college student knows that it’s not.One of the greater perks of upcycling is that it repurposes things that were once thought to be unuseful. So if that pizza at the Dining Hall is making your already tight jeans unwearable, cut them into patches on a new pair. Cut off the sleeves to that top you accidentally shrunk the sleeves of in the laundry the first time you did it yourself and repurpose them.
5. It's entertaining and productive.
Something else they don’t tell you in high school is how much free time you’ll have in college. Yes, you have schoolwork but with only about eight to ten hours of school a week, the amount of time left to sleep and do "nothing" is staggering. So, do something productive and feel productive, use the things left around your dorm, taking up space that you don’t have, to make something new. That day old bed head will thank you. Maybe you can get some friends together and form a new club!
6. You can be a badass businessperson.
And, since you now have all of this stuff that you’ve upcycled, it’s time to share it with the world. Upcycling is a great way to make money, as well as save it. If something your really don't like anymore or can't make your size is still laying around your closet, fix it up and sell it. Apps and websites like Poshmark, ThredUp and even EBay are great platforms for selling your stuff. And, making them new and trendy cam sometimes even bring in more cash than you originally paid. Yup, that's becoming a GirlBoss. They all have different feels and aesthetics for whatever you're selling, bringing you the biggest bang for your buck. That's extra money for daily college expenses or even tuition, depending on how much you get into it.
7. The possibilities are endless.
This is probably the best part of upcycling, especially for a college student. The way that you upcycle is all your own. You can do it all at once or over time, when assignments are pressing. You can do it alone or have an upcycling part with your friends in you dorm. You can use all different materials or just a pair of scissors. The limit does not exist.
But, upcycling isn't just for clothes. You can use empty egg cartons for earthy plant bud pots and then planted into newspaper decoupaged mason jars when too big. Break up your chipped ceramics and with a bit of grout you've got a cool new tabletop for a side table. All your friends can join in, make something together, sending it to each other during the summer you’re apart between semesters, like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. One thing is for sure. Hop on the bandwagon because it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Your life will thank you.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels