Mending and Upcycling
Let’s talk about what Upcycling and Mending means: it is a way for us to creatively repair, reuse or give a new lease of life to items that would otherwise have been disposed of (and either gone to landfill or been commercially recycled). More often than not, recycling unfortunately means items are processed into products of lower quality such as glass being used for aggregate in roads or plastics being recycled into lower grade plastic items. If our grandparents knew you could extend the life of most things, there is no reason we shouldn’t expect to achieve the same. Greener & Cleaner Bromley (& Beyond) run regular free upcycling and crafting sessions on Zoom, please check the events page for more information.
The Benefits of Upcycling are many fold and include
By reusing and mending items or upcycling to produce something completely different but useful we are preventing the purchase and manufacture of unnecessary items. We reduce the need for the raw materials, water & energy that would have gone into creating the product and thereby reduce the emissions that would have been associated with producing the item and getting it to the shop shelves and to your home.
Mending and upcycling can be highly creative regardless of what level your artistic or craft skills are at. Mending something or upcycling something stimulates the imagination and allows you to express yourself in different ways, it promotes creative thinking and encourages investigating various craft disciplines. You may learn new skills to achieve the outcomes that you want which will benefit you in other projects you undertake. You will also achieve a sense of accomplishment and pride in your work.
The majority of us are trying to cut down on our spending and buying mass produced items that are imported from the other side of the globe. When you upcycle you spend more time respecting the work and effort that went into creating the item in the first place and it encourages us to place more value on what we already have. You may establish new community connections to people who take pride in crafting items that are creatively unique.
When you give a second life to something by mending, buying or making upcycled items you have the benefit of knowing that you are taking steps to promote healthier and more positive surroundings and it can go some way to help reduce the pressure of ‘environmental’ stress.
When we buy upcycled products we are usually supporting local small businesses, metal workers, craft studios, wood workers etc who often sell at local farmers markets, town markets or Craft fairs. We reduce reliance on globally mass produced inferior products and fast fashion. We are enabling many artisans to support themselves and contributing to the continuation of many heritage crafts.
Men in Sheds
Men in Sheds are a fantastic global movement and are ace at fixing items and upcycling. Get in touch with your local group for more information.
Pillar Box Blue
This is a great upcycle recycle and reuse site, with clear instructions. In particular, her denim projects cleverly use every last scrap of denim jeans.
This is an amazing resource of upcyling, recycling and reuse. It Is very organised with menus for all types of projects. Absolutely love their Pallet recycle projects
Specialises in the use of salvaged materials and using power tools. I think she is amazing and hope to do one of her workshops one day. She has some free online tutorials and some paid for online tutorials but the content on the site is also inspirational
Red Ted Art
Aimed at Kids, it is specifically an upcycling/recycling site but most of the projects do reuse items that would go in the recycling or are nature based so a good fit for our site
Good information on upcycling, remodelling garments with online tutorials
Bags of Love – Rag rug Tutorials
7 different methods for making rag rugs and using up fabrics that may otherwise end up in landfill