The anti consumerism shopping guide

Clothes are incredibly resource-heavy to produce, so a good rule of thumb is to buy less and better quality, wear each piece more, and swap, sell, or donate items you don’t want. No longer wearable or repairable? Upcycle with these guides or makes, compiled by lifestyle writer Becky Blench.

To cut your clothing footprint and save money:

1 Make a rag rug – a traditional, relaxing and resourceful clothes upcycling craft. Elspeth Jackson’s Rag Rug Techniques for Beginners is the perfect guide.

2 Create heirlooms from scraps with Modern Quilting: A Contemporary Guide to Quilting by Hand, by Julius Arthur of House of Quinn. A brilliant guide to making chic, minimal quilts, ideal for first-time crafters.

3 Other household textiles like cotton or linen sheets can be upcycled. In Grow, Cook, Dye, Wear: From seed to style the sustainable way, Bella Gonshorovitz shows how to grow and cook five fruits and veg, then create natural fabric dye – even the dressmaking patterns are included.

The DIY edit:

4 Stretchy cotton clothing cut into thin strips is great to use in the garden instead of twine or wire.

5 Turn lightweight fabric into decorative bunting – make a triangular card template, 16cm for the top and 22cm for the sides, draw round it onto scraps of fabric, cut them out and sew the short edges at intervals along a piece of bias binding or ribbon.

6 Cut old t-shirts up into squares and use as washable multi-purpose cleaning cloths.

This guide was originally published in the Autumn 2022 print edition of Wicked Leeks. You can read the full issue online now.


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