How to breathe new life into old clothes

Something old can be something new - here's how to upcycle, recycle, craft and buy vintage with the best of them
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How to breathe new life into old clothes

“What started out as clearing out a spare room so I could rent it out turned into five boxes of clothes I no longer wore, which I resold. This was my first project that would eventually become Retold," Sian Rowlands, CEO and Chief Storyteller at Retold tells Grazia of her environmental fashion endeavours.

"It’s fair to say it changed my life; reselling and buying clothes was a way to get my fashion fix while saving loads of money. This sustainable way of shopping quickly developed into wanting to live a less wasteful life," she continues. 

Since starting her business, she now composts and recycles everything she can, and used non-motorised transport when possible. 

Sian Rowlands, CEO and Chief Storyteller, Retold

And being more environmentally aware doesn't mean Sian's had to compromise, as she explains: "Ninety-five per cent of my wardrobe is preowned, which includes some of my favourite pieces – a yellow Stella McCartney handbag, Oscar de la Renta green suede heels, a Rag & Bone leather jacket and red John Galliano gown. I honestly don’t really shop ‘new’ anymore. I also search for ethical brands using a site called Goshopia, a brand directory for sustainable stores in the UAE, or I scour charity shops abroad. It began as a fun fashion choice but has now become a way of life, one I hope to share with as many people as possible.”

Her top insider tip? 

“Look after your clothes and don’t over-wash them. If clothes are damaged, fix them before you try and sell. Clothes in perfect condition sell better than anything stained or damaged, irrespective of the brand or original price. Lastly, sell seasonally appropriate clothes – no coats in summer!”

Photos: Pina Messina on Unsplash and Supplied