Sustainability and conscious shopping have, quite rightly, been a hot topic for a while. However, thanks to Stacey Dooley’s recent Fast Fashion documentary focusing on the environmental impact of the garment industry, there’s a movement emerging across fashion bloggers for rewearing and repurposing older items rather than buying new.

There are purchase decisions I could make very differently for my own wardrobe (and buying from much more ethical sources is one of them) but as a capsuler I like to think I’m making baby steps towards less wasteful fashion.

In the same vein, with increased awareness of environmental responsibility, I’m starting to focus on how my interiors can also be more sustainable and how I can repurpose and upcycle even more.

Why upcycling is a good idea

It encourages you to shop your own home and save pennies

Reprioritising my to-do list ended up being a smart move and in the end we’ve done more or less all the jobs we set out to do, one of them being a one-liner of a ‘bathroom spruce’ which let me tell you, deserved way more than one entry on the to do list. Dining room prints
This did involve buying some new items however I did spend a bit of time going on a shopping trip around my own house picking up bits and pieces from here and there. Enter the black and white prints which were replaced with dried wreaths for a photo shoot and have been propped on my dining room floor for the last year. Shopping your own home is free (you don’t even have to pay for parking!).
I’ll also be sharing the nursery tour next week where half of the furniture has been repurposed from other rooms in the house rather than buying new.

You save money as it makes you question if you really need it

If I was having a baby five years ago I probably would have gone all out and bought EVERYTHING. As it happens well over 50% of his garb has been handed down or borrowed from super generous friends. We have also approached things minimally (some might say we’re not prepared!) and haven’t strayed from the absolute essentials.
I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon Prime (the packaging, the impact of all those deliveries for individual items) but I figure it’s better to place orders for items we really need that can be delivered exceptionally quickly rather than stockpiling items we might not need at all.

You can shop locally

Apparently, 81% of the items that are on eBay are new but there are still heaps of used pieces available. I would question if driving to the other end of the country for an eBay reclamation offsets your carbon footprint. However, I’ve found Facebook Market Place great for more local pieces as well as Gumtree and Freecycle. Obviously there’s no unnecessary bubble wrap and cardboard boxes when you’re picking up a chest of drawers from the next town.

It inspires creativity

No-one wants a carbon copy home. Well I don’t anyway and the only truly way to have a unique style is to go vintage or customised. The source of the most requested item in my home? A coffee table constructed from a reclaimed palette on 20 year old table legs.

Grey living room with upcycled coffee table

It reduces the amount of raw materials required

This can be a bit problematic. If you’re going to have to buy a load of new paraphernalia to upcycle then is it helping the planet? I suppose this is another illustration of how complex it can be to be more sustainable. Top marks if you’re using leftover paint instead of buying new and sourcing hardware and other vintage bells and whistles from places like eBay and Etsy.

A few archive posts that might be worth a look which have been touched on in this post.

Upcycling resources Sources for pieces to upcycle.
Reducing plastic waste Naomi’s tips for cutting down on plastic
Buying secondhand baby items Resources for preloved baby items
Capsule wardrobe basics The pros and cons of a capsule wardrobe
Jess’ minimalism mission. Jess will be back soon sharing her experience so far of living more minimally.

It’s not to say I’ll be stopping buying new altogether. I love a H&M haul as much as the next person, and more recently I’ve been trying to buy from more independent sellers, but I do want to be a much more conscious consumer. We’ve all got to start somewhere.

What steps are you taking? Have you been inspired to make a change too? Any pieces of home decor you’re thinking of reusing or repurposing?