In the first of a series of interviews with Ethical Fashion Bloggers, I interview Erica of Recycled Fashion about upcycling, blogging and ethical fashion. Erica’s blog features plenty of inspiration in the form of thrifty outfits and DIY projects plus plenty of handy tips, she is also involved in some other really interesting projects relating to sustainable style.
How did you get started blogging?
I started my blog because I wanted to focus some of my time on my two passions; second-hand fashion, and writing. I read blogs of similar interest, and thought I’d have a crack at starting my own, that was two years ago
How would you describe your style?
Thrifty; only choosing second hand over new
Quirky; it is not uncommon to find out of the ordinary pieces in my wardrobe.
Individual: I try not to be a follower of fashion, and choose instead, to create my own individual style.
You are obviously very talented at sewing and recycling clothes, what is it about recycling clothes that you love?
Thank you for such a nice comment. I like the individuality of designing my own wardrobe pieces to fit my body shape. We’re not all born the same off-the-rack size, and most of the time, a small size adjustment on a shop purchased garment, will make the world of difference.
From an ethical standpoint, I cannot justify buying new clothing, when there is an abundance of garments already in circulation. By recycling existing garments, we keep more clothing out of landfill, and in our wardrobes.
What is the refashioning project that you are most proud of?
For a thrifted piece, transformed into something more wearable, I’m quite fond of my butterfly dress refashion. However, the creation I am most proud of, would be my upholstery patch dress, of which I made some furnishing fabric samples into a patchwork shift dress.
Where do you get your inspiration both for recycling projects and for your blogging?
Most of the time, I am inspired by articles I read on the internet, and on other similar blogs. Otherwise, fashion I see on the streets, or current fashion topics.
I have noticed that ethical and sustainable fashion seems to be quite popular in Australia, how would you describe the ethical fashion scene there?
Ethical and sustainable fashion certainly seems to be on the rise in Australia, we still have a way to go, the ethical fashion scene is small in comparison to some, but we’ve a strong, passionate group of individuals working hard to see a change in the fashion industry. Being that we have a smaller population that many western countries, individuals involved in the ethical fashion scene tend to know of each other via various networks and word-of-mouth.
Which are your favourite eco/ethical/ thrifty blogs and brands?
Blogs I read frequently >
My Thrifty Closet
Pull Your Socks Up!
Not Dead Yet Style
Modest is Pretty
Brands. I have not purchased new clothing for over two years; however, there are ethical brands which I admire:
Siamese Dream Design
The Social Studio
I see that you have advertising on your blog, how do you go about ensuring that that advertisers/ give away sponsors fit with the values/ethics of your blog?
The majority of my advertising sponsors have worked closely with me prior to their advertisement banners being added to my blog. If I am approached by potential advertisers that do not have any link to ethical fashion, I generally do not agree to advertise them on my blog.
Tell us more about Melbourne Op Shop Tours…
Melbourne Op Shop Tours run sustainable shopping tours across Melbourne. Tours run through Melbourne’s second-hand wonderlands, on public transport. Tour groups are kept nice and small to make sure everyone has a chance to pick up some fabulous bargains without having to resort to fighting their fellow op shoppers. There are currently 6 tour routes, I run Melbourne’s Bayside Tour which appeared on TV here
Tell us more about Recycled Market..
Last year, I co-founded a new online marketplace dedicated to buying and selling recycled products, Recycled Market. Recycled Market is a unique online venue that encourages buyers and sellers to reduce, reuse, redesign, refashion, rework and recycle as much as possible. A global marketplace focused on showcasing stylish handmade and ethically manufactured pieces made from recycled materials.
What tips can you give to anyone who wants to start recycling or upcycling their own clothes?
Get yo’self a sewing machine! It need not be new, nor anything fancy, but owning a sewing machine will be the best investment if you’re interested in recycled fashion and DIY.
Refashioning tips? Don’t set your goals too high to begin with. Making a dress from scratch would probably not be a good start, instead, try making a small clutch bag using an online tutorial, a soft toy, or t-shirt refashion, something simple so that you’ll progress with your next sewing attempt.
Many thanks to Erica for sharing her tips and so much with us about herself and her blog. If you would like to be interviewed for Ethical Fashion Bloggers, please get in touch. Also don’t forget to visit the forum and post your links for our DIY/ upcycled round up on Monday. If you are not a member already, you can join here.
With warmest wishes