Why Upcycle and Not Recycle

Why Upcycle and Not Recycle

As creating a more sustainable environment becomes more popular within the fashion industry, people have used the term "sustainability" more often. Close to its sibling recycling, upcycling looks to create something new while keeping most of the original product intact. Recycling breaks down products into their original material, significantly affecting the fabric. While we can constantly renew upcycled pieces, many fabrics can only be recycled once. According to Greenpeace, only 13% of recycled fabrics will at most be used as mattress insulation. If the fashion industry continues to reuse, re-wear, and repurpose clothing, it can significantly lower its carbon footprint.

Shop Repurpose is doing its part to give damaged donated luxury clothing a new life with a team of dedicated couturiers. Before our dive into upcycling, we did not have an easy solution to process damaged donations. Now, however, this type of donation helps us strengthen our workforce mentorship and create a healthier planet. We work with creative minds in our workforce program to reimagine the donated clothes, showcase their talent, and take their experience to higher-paying positions in their field. The staff works hard to create a new and unique experience with each upcycle. The mentorship also teaches team collaboration, self-care, and task management, all while promoting social good.

Our goal is that with a stronger team, we can work towards our mission to empower women in need by giving gently used clothes a second life. Although the pandemic slowed our work initially, we have continued to make great strides of progress since. We want to continue our momentum and only ask that people take another look into their closets and donate. Every preloved clothing donation to Shop Repurpose supports our grantees NAMI, Win, and Bottomless Closet. These organizations share our goal of empowering women in need by creating work and supporting the women workforce, sheltering the homeless, and working through mental illness. We sincerely appreciate our donors and shoppers who support our mission and workforce development. At shop repurpose, we are big on social impact, and small on climate impact.

By Gabriel Guivas


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