Festival Upcycling Part 1

While we all may have our own definitions, The Oxford English Dictionary defines upcycling as to “Reusing (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality

 or value than the original.” 

This brings me to my upcycling placement at the Oxfam Festival Shop. I’ve always had my own ideas and opinions about upcycling, the definition in my mind being to give a new lease of life to discarded garments, changing them to become someone else’s cherished garments. Equipped with the dictionary definition and my own interpretation, I began whipping up some ideas on what I could transform!

Brainstorming and Idea Development

While thinking about what I wanted to do as my projects I gave myself some questions to answer:
What garments are there likely to be a lot of?
What could be fun and interesting to make into unique pieces?
Which festivals have a relevant customer base?

Once I had these questions in mind I did a little bit of research into current trends. Using the research, I then developed my ideas using my initial questions to get started.

I began by answering the first question and deciding on denim as a general area to focus on. I chose denim as it is such a common fabric that most people wear almost every day. I have never worked with denim before and feel this would be a good opportunity to learn and develop my skills further. I then investigated customer bases. This took a little bit more time as every festival is slightly different, so finding something that will fit more than one took a bit more brainstorming. Throughout my research and investigation, I always kept in mind the fact that I need needed to enjoy what I’m doing and be able to learn and challenge myself when I came up with my final ideas.

I eventually decided on flares and battle jackets unique pieces. Both the projects I am doing for my placement can be sold at multiple events. I feel this is important, as it means if they don’t sell as well as we expected at one event, they still have a chance to be sold.

I then made a mood board to visualise my thoughts. This is also a good tool to have around when sorting so that items which may be of use to me are put in one place.

Once I had my plan it was time for the exciting part! Time to start making my ideas come to life….Part 2 coming soon!












Stanley, E. G. (1990). The oxford english dictionary and supplement: The integrated edition of 1989 — the oxford english dictionary (second edition) prepared by J. A. simpson and E. S. C. weiner / A supplement to the oxford english dictionary edited by R. W. burchfield. The Review of English Studies, 41(161), 76. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/docview/204902219?accountid=11526


  1. Hiya I would love to enroll as a volunteer for a few of the major festivals for next year! I am a great leader and love to help others within a team and always determined to show my greatest efforts as I am most definitely a perfectionist !

  2. Hi i would like to help out in 2020. Im an experienced volunteer coordinator and have worked at several festivals b4!!
    All the best
    Happy Christmas 2019

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