WINNER ‘Progress toward circularity’ Marie Claire Sustainability Awards 2023

#SecondHandSeptember: Create with Minimal Waste

5 easy and sustainable upcycling projects to breathe new life into preloved possessions.

As pressure mounts to reduce vast amount of clothing items ending up in landfill, re-thinking our stance on fast-fashion is become the mode. It comes as no surprise that London Fashion Week, in bringing together the some of the world's greatest contemporary designers and critics, also brings opportunity to increase awareness of the issue at large.

'Don't Feed The Monster', asks The Guardian, in their viral article which reports that, as the environmental impact of online shopping and high street fashion comes to light, shoppers are increasingly favouring brands which champion sustainable textiles and business models. Whether that be through repairing and customising, or hosting clothes-swaps and second-hand sales.

Oxfam, one of the UK’s biggest charitable organisations taking a stand against global poverty, is offering the public to also make a stance and support this cause. Their campaign #SecondHandSeptember asks that participants take the pledge to say no to new clothes for 30 days. 

How You Can Get Involved In #SecondHandSeptember

Feeling Inspired? Discover Simple Second Hand Fixes You Can Do At Home

Whilst fashion is culpable in contributing to waste, items from used baking utensils to weathered wood pallets also end up in landfills when there’s no further intervention. Because of this, there is immense value in upcycling everyday objects and putting otherwise wasteful items to good use. 

In doing our part for #SecondHandSeptember and to inspire you to create with minimal waste, we’ve gathered together some of our favourite sustainable and upcycling projects. Read on to see the skills you can learn that’ll benefit your home, your wardrobe and the planet. 

Repair your denim with sashiko

Sashiko Repair is a perfect way to add some flair to your denim whilst ensuring you save the immense amount of water needed to create a new pair of jeans.

Make a wooden chopping board

Have a broken old wooden door or tabletop that’s destined for the bin? Tuscany-based woodworkers Samina Langholz and Andrea Brugi teach you how to turn unwanted wood into a stunning wooden chopping board in this gorgeously photographed course.

Make a knotted rope mat

For the seafaring maker who has an excess of discarded sailing rope, this knotted rope mat is the perfect sustainable project to add pops of colour to your home. 

Make a jelly mould pendant lamp

When your jelly moulds no longer yield the wobbly results you crave, why not turn them into eclectic and sustainable pendant lamps? Expert upcycler Max McMurdo shows you how in this step-by-step course, taken from his book Upcycling: 20 Projects Made from Reclaimed Materials.

Learn to sew a cushion cover: course + kit

And if you want to get making but don’t have the material to upcycle, we’ve got you (cushion) covered with Hiut Denim and Offset Warehouse providing high-quality offcuts. This course by Barley Massey can be purchased with a kit, giving you the textile you need to get started right away whilst alleviating your would-be ecological footprint. 

Find out more about the #SecondHandSeptember campaign on Oxfam and tag us in your upcycled snaps!