It’s been a while since I penned one of these! I don’t know about you, but blog writing procrastination is a real thing. Procrastination aside, August and September have been really busy months for Wild Strings, and it shows no sign of slowing down!
The reason it’s been so busy...? Well, apart from a few well-spent holidays, I’ve been working on a brand-new range to run alongside our current collection and since it’s Second-Hand September, I thought now was the perfect time to share the details with you.
Second-hand September is an initiative founded by charity Oxfam and encourages people to pledge to buy no new clothes for 30 days. Every week 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill, putting increasing pressure on the planet, which is what this campaign is trying to change. Rescuing a single kilo of used clothing from landfill can help save CO2 emissions by 3.6kg and water consumption by 6,000 litres.
I’ve been working on this concept for a while and it continues the brand's mission to help change the industry’s impact on the planet. It embodies true second-hand spirit and breathes new life into clothes that have found their way onto the throw out pile or into charity and vintage shops.
What’s the new collection called I hear you ask? Revival.
The aim is to improve the condition and strength of garments, which makes the name a perfect one! My favourite part of the creative process is surface techniques, which is why they will feature heavily in the renewal of these clothes! Embroidery, patching, and weaving will be the focus of the restorations. Taking inspiration from recent travels, the embroideries have a floral focus and the patches and weaving follow our zero-waste policies, using waste fabrics to create these effects. The garments are individually sourced by me in local thrift shops and are one of a kind garments which are given a totally original design, which is applied by me in-house, making each one completely unique.
Revival will be launched on the 5th November, so put us in your diary for a browse! Between now and then I’ll be posting sneak peeks and preview shots of the collection…I might even upload some cheeky before and after pics so you can all see what kind of upcycles are happening. I’ll also be organising a little competition to celebrate the upcoming launch, so keep your eyes peeled for all the exciting things coming soon.
I really believe that buying second hand is important, but I also think that sometimes, you can’t quite shake the feeling you’re wearing someone else’s clothes. That’s where the upcycling (a way of processing an item to make it better than the original) comes in! By custom designing these old items, they are given new life instead of ending up in landfill, making them look cool and new again. As Sara Radin points out in an article for Fashionista, “upcycled garments not only contribute to sustainable shopping as a whole, but also serve as art pieces…and a sense of connection”. Not only is up-cycling eco-friendly, but it also reinvents clothing and gives a connection between wearer and maker, something which I think is really important when changing people’s attitudes to clothes. It is a great way to make people aware of the hands that created their clothes and how.
So, what are the positives of shopping second-hand? For me, there’s a couple that are key! The first is that there are no seasonal constraints and that you can create your own style. Shopping second-hand and buying reworked (or doing it yourself) allow you to dress individually and also means that you’re not going to show up to that much-anticipated event and find someone in the same thing!
The second, of course, is its positive environmental impact! Each purchase helps reduce the amount of clothes waste and also reduces the environmental burden of new clothing production, as well as reducing the need for such production all together. Buying second-hand also encourages a circular economy where clothing can be worn and sold and repeated indefinitely, positively affecting waste, water, and energy consumption.
The third (I know I said a couple but sneaking an extra in for good measure!) is supporting small and local businesses and charities. Charity, vintage, and reworked clothing is often sold by small businesses or charities, therefore, by buying second-hand you are positively impacting the local economy as well as giving to those less fortunate. There might be something better than having a one-off garment, sourced locally, which is eco-friendly, but right now I can’t think of anything!
There are some great benefits to upcycling, but the bottom line is that it “stops adding stuff to a world that is already overwhelmed with material things” by reusing materials that may otherwise end up in landfill.
I’m super excited to share my Revival journey, and for you all to see (and hopefully love) the new pieces I’ve been working on, so watch this space!