I didn ´ t start to upcycle clothes intentionally. Ten years ago, when I was learning how to sew, I was using only old fabrics and old clothes that my family stored in the attic of our house. We don ´ t know how to get rid of nice things so we keep them. Moreover, my grandmother and my aunt gave me so many beautiful materials and old clothes. I have always been fascinated by vintage fabrics and vintage clothes. I loved their colours, cuts and prints… simply everything.
As I was pretty frugal I started to completely re-create the clothes, form them into better and more fashionable cuts. I didn ´ t buy new fabrics because I didn ´ t have too much money and I was afraid that I would damage the fabrics with my inexperienced approach and it would be a waste of my tight budget. However, after a few years I realized that the limited amount of vintage material that I had was even more precious. If you damage new material while working, you can almost always replace it with a new one, but you cannot substitute original vintage fabric. So I was risking even more without knowing it. I was learning how to make clothes, it was hard, but surprisingly I didn ´ t damage any material.
After a few years, upcycling proved to be one of the best weapon in the battle with textile waste. Some pieces of clothing are discarded just because of small flaws or just because someone decides not to wear them anymore. And that´s normal. A lot of these clothes find their home at my sewing studio and my goal is to get them back to their lifecycle. I either simply repair them or I give them a completely new look that brings them to life.
Excessive production of clothing, overconsumption and subsequent big amount of waste is a considerable issue nowadays. Neither the textile containers are the solution nor the charities. Just a small part of the waste is recycled but basically it is just getting rid of our responsibility and shifting it to someone else, but the issue stays here unsolved because it is impossible to solve it completely. For example, in the Czech Republic 85% waste from textile containers end up on landfill. The only thing that we can change is our approach to shopping and our consumption habits. Even a small quick repair of a hole in a sock will help.
Personally I have been working on cleaning my wardrobe for a few years. I wanted to finish the process as soon as possible, however, it wasn´t so easy. There is a great emotional bind with the clothes that were given to me as gifts which I never wear. So I have taken my time to gradually send them away. I have tried various options: friends, vintage shops, www.vinted.cz, charity shops. It is a slow process but I can´t wait to have a clean and organized closet with valuable items that I really wear. I´ll put the clothes that I decide to keep without wearing them into a special box as a treasure for my descendants.
It is normal that we evolve during our lifetime and it is normal that we mentally outgrow our clothes. It is essential to find our own way to eliminate waste.
As I am not a big company, I don ´ t have a big storeroom and I work only on a few square meters, I choose the clothes that I want to upcycle very well. I have a specific taste, style and certain colour, print and material scheme. If something is out of the scheme, it should go somewhere else. I believe that my followers and customers like Majoranka because of the visual side and impression that I create.
Just don ´ t forget: even repairing the simple hole in the sock counts. And the small amount of the upcycled clothes in my web store counts, too. Remember what Mother Teresa said:
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Maria Revakova / majoranka