What are the differences between these terms? Not so much, really.
Sometimes those words are used in annoying ways. I personally don’t feel it should be a substitute for the word J-U-N-K, and the work junk always makes me think of this old song. 😉
I think it seems like recycling is new-ish. Truly the generation that is currently in their 90’s and above were amazing recycler’s. I think that the only thing missing from their recycling was the word “recycle”. They were excellent stewards of what they had. May I suggest asking someone you know in that age bracket to tell you about how they recycled back then? It would be a good topic to enable them to share and a nice bit of history to come down the pike. 😉
I like the idea of selective upcycling. Not everything is suitable for some form of re-use, though with creativity a lot can be used for varying purposes. Some people truly like a grungy look! Others like a rustic look. For example, weathered barn wood. That has enjoyed such popularity! I have seen some very creative uses for old wood that are very tasteful. Honestly I never would have thought of it myself.
When it comes to fabrics, I view refashioning in two categories; things made of leftover bits of new fabrics that were previously thought of as unusable AND used fabrics that are having their life extended by being made into something different that is updated or that removes worn parts. In fact, in my Upcycle shop I start out categorizing items by those two criteria. I like people to know what they are looking at.
When people look at their own recycling, they can feel pretty good about all those plastic, paper, metal, and glass items that fill up the recycle bins and head off for re-use. With fabrics, people are also excellent at donating where things either become rags or re-sold.
But what about making things into items you can use yourself? Maybe you might consider something along those lines. Before you donate that bag of clothing, take a look. Are there any items that you are drawn to? Whether it’s for sentimental reasons, or because you like the look of it, there are usually ways that they can be changed up for a different use. Use pinterest or Google images to try to find a way to re-make your item. Keywords can include the word upcycle and something about your item, such as “upcycle plaid”. Try switching out the word upcycle, for the word refashion, and later restyle. You will get some differing results. It could be that you will find something really interesting to use it for!
In my home I end up with a lot of jeans that need new uses, whether it is from cutting shorts out of them or just no longer usable as a pair of shorts either. I have even tried to come up with uses for the holey knee part, and the tough seams that accumulate in my chop shop. 😉
Don’t be intimidated about re-making things. What have you got to lose… one item from your donation pile? GO for it! 🙂 If you really are attached to an item and fear trying to re-fashion it, get help. You are probably thinking that customization means expen$$$$e. Not necessarily true. It won’t cost you anything to assess whether it is worth it to you to pay someone for their help.
Here is what one lady thought of to upcycle, and I LOVE the idea!
I would love to hear if you try to recycle in this way.