Upcycling: Turning Waste into New Product

I was very fascinated when I discovered and learned about fashion upcycling, especially when it's done in Indonesia. If you haven't known already, the waste generated by textile production is usually around 10-30% of the intake materials. That is pretty significant amount of waste if all goes to the trash or landfill.

For Cottonaries, we have been striving to minimize our waste by making small accessories on the leftover fabrics. However, this still doesn't completely solve our waste problem, because at the end of the day, there would still be some unused materials that we are no longer able to make any product. This is why it's great to see innovation in this area through fashion upcycling.

Recently I participated in an Upcycling workshop conducted by Threadapeutic to learn more about this. This workshop was one of the activities in Happiness festival that was organized by Project Semesta and United in Diversity. Prior to the workshop, I have already heard about Threadapeutic and bought their product as well. They are one of the brands that are well known for its sustainability mission by turning fashion waste into new products. But I never knew much in details about upcycling process.

The workshop session was only conducted for 2 hours, so we only focused on decorating our upcycled products using fashion unused materials. Even though it's only a short session, this made me realized that upcycling really requires very high creativity as well as lots of hard work. The challenge is how to create a great design by using only leftover materials at hand. And for most cases, the design can't be reused because the remaining materials available are changing. This is why it takes lots of time and effort to produce even just one upcycled product.

Having experienced the workshop, now I have deeper appreciation on upcycled fashion products. It's truly a great craft that is uniquely designed and hand made with personal touch. This experience has also inspired us to incorporate upcycling for our unused materials in the future. Hope this inspires you too!