A new Greenpeace survey on the shopping habits of people across Europe and Asia, finds that regularly buying too many clothes, shoes, bags and accessories has become an international phenomenon – in fact the average person now buys 60 per cent more items of clothing and keeps them for about half as long as they did just 15 years ago. This is especially striking in China and Hong Kong with up to half of consumers buying more clothes than they need and use, with social media and online shopping fueling much of this shopping craze. In June 2017, Redress and PizzaExpress joined forces for an exclusive DIY workshop hosted at the K11 restaurant, a haven of calm among the hustle and bustle of one of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping areas, inspiring participants to transform their out of use T-shirts into a fabulous, summer ready designs! From embellishing, patching to cutting techniques (and a little online inspiration), together we discovered all sorts of creative ways to breathe new life into clothing, and lighten the environmental impact of our wardrobes along the way.
For those who are interested to take on this fun DIY project on your own unwanted t-shirt, here are a few top tips from Redress’ Education Director, Kay Liu:
1. Start Simply
If it’s your first DIY project, a plainer t-shirt will give you more versatility and better results. You can see this as your blank canvas for embellishments and patchwork!
2. Plan your design
Position your embellishments before sticking and sewing, or use cut out templates and mark lines with tailors chalk before picking up the scissors. You might even want to pin and take a look in the mirror, or snap a picture to see if you’re absolutely satisfied with your design before your start cutting and sewing
3. Think before you cut
Bear in mind that the traditional material used for t-shirts is jersey, which stretches easily, so any cutouts will end up being a little bigger when worn on the body, and can also stretch out more over time – think about this when planning your cutting template.
4. Consider fabric weight and thickness
Designs may droop if the fabrics you apply on to your t-shirt are too heavy; or the original designs may show through if the added layer fabric is too thin. But if this is the effect you’re looking for – embrace it!
5. Have fun!
DIY is a creative activity that people of all ages can get involved in! You can also look online for all sorts of style inspiration. So get stuck in and start minimising your wardrobe’s environmental impact!