As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I make upcycled garments and crafts out of discarded clothing. And I want to encourage you – to beg you – to start doing the same thing.

I’m going to give you 3 BIG REASONS why it’s so important that we all start to CREATE OR BUY upcycled things – clothing, toys, home furnishings, crafts – made out of reclaimed materials.

Reason #1 – Fashion Kills

Like many other women I used to love going to stores and buying something nice to wear. I’d save up my money and plan what I was going to buy. But when I found out the shocking truth about how fashion retailers are manipulating us into believing “more is better” when it comes to our clothing, I stopped buying new clothing, except for things like personal garments.

Discarded clothing is the second largest polluter on this planet – right after big oil. Our landfills are bloated with clothing that’s often been worn just a couple of times – or not at all. Big companies buy from overseas garment factories at the cheapest price possible.

The clothing is made by people who work in often appallingly unhealthy and dangerous conditions for barely a few pennies a day. Often with children at their feet.

And the big corporations – think cheap fashion brands and huge stores with the word “mart” at the end of their name – have proven that they simply don’t care.

Their greed drives them to manipulate us into buying more and more cheap clothing so that we’ll feel rich and affluent because our closet’s crammed with barely worn clothing, shoes and accessories. But does it work? Do we feel affluent? Or does it just create an unhealthy addiction?

Reason # 2 – Crafting is Great Therapy!

Crafting can help fight the blues. Making things out of reclaimed materials is fun, it’s creative, and it’s therapeutic. It feeds your soul and it feels good to be doing something that helps preserve this beautiful planet.

I, like many of my readers, have battled bouts of depression on and off for my entire life, and I can promise you, when you dive into a creative project of any kind, your spirits will soar. It’s a good thing.

Click the image above to watch the #chopdontshop video.

Reason #3 – You’re Going To Look Fabulous!

Perhaps the best reason of all is that you’ll be able to make clothing that fits you perfectly, that’s in the colors you love, that expresses who you really, really are, and that doesn’t cost you – or the planet – anything.

And don’t worry if you feel like you can’t sew.  There are tons of videos out there – including mine – that will show you how easy it is to make cute and cool things out of upcycled clothing. It’s fun!

The #chopdontshop Movement

Most people have no idea how destructive cheap, mass-produced clothing is to our environment. And if they did know, they’d do something about it.

That’s why I’m launching the HASHTAG chopdontshop movement. The #chopdontshop movement encourages everyone who wears clothing to do one or all of these three things:

  1. Learn how to refashion your wardrobe simply by chopping up some old clothing to make it look and feel new and exciting again.
  2. Find a refashion designer to buy your clothing
    from – there are tons on Etsy, including me. (Hint, hint.)
  3. Buy from ethical clothing companies who have proven that their clothing isn’t being made in overseas sweatshops.

I strongly encourage you to make a change in the coming year if you haven’t started already.

Please use the hashtag #ChopDontShop and share this message as far and wide as you can.

Together we can make a change.

If you have any questions – or you make refashioned or upcycled clothing or crafts, drop your link in the comments below.

As always, thank you for being here. And thank you for helping.

I love you guys.

Mandy Wildman
The Vibrant Crafter
Founder, the #chopdontshop movement

4 Responses

  1. I am very interested in your work and learning more about what you do. I hate clothes shopping, nothing fits right and it is too expensive. When you go to Walmart (I do NOT go there, stopped years ago), they sell crap for cheap, I use to go to places where you can buy clothes for $1.00 and up (not just clothes they sell a lot of everything), which is okay if you want to spend the day looking and trying on clothes. I don’t trust stores, most of them for the reason you mentioned …. sweat shops, how sad!

    My husband & I are disabled and barely get by. My husband is not well and we meditate all the time, and I meditate on him being healed, so I am stressed. If you could help I would be very happy.

    Thank you,

    Stressed out in this world

    1. Lor,

      Thank you for your words. Yes, you absolutely can learn how to make “new” clothing out of old clothing, or make fun items that you could maybe sell locally or on Etsy. It’s also fun and therapeutic too. Here’s an article I did on how Crafting Therapy Changed My Life. Enjoy!

      🙂 Mandy

  2. I checked out the list of shops you have that make clothes and more, and there is no way I could ever afford anything those shops. I agree what they do is great! But what good is it if some folks can’t afford it?

    I guess I can make my own clothes if you have the knowledge for me to use. I hope.

    1. Lor,

      I totally agree! I have 3 teenagers – no way I could do those prices. But the good news is – you don’t have to. Have you seen my video, How To Make an Upcycled Dress? It’s so cute and easy! (And if you subscribed to my YT channel at the same time I would love you forever, hint, hint.)

      🙂 Mandy