From The Straits Times    |

Photo: Showbit

With Earth Day falling on April 22, the last thing you’d want to do is go out and get more fast fashion pieces. After all, it’s well documented that fast fashion has an incredibly negative impact on the environment due to its emphasis on low cost and speed. Critics often call it out for its use of toxic chemicals, causing water pollution and increasing levels of textile waste.

Over in Singapore, market research company YouGov found that a third (34 per cent) of 4,097 respondents in the country have thrown away an item of clothing after wearing it just once and, in the past year alone, 15 per cent of all respondents have thrown away at least three items that they’ve only worn once. What’s most alarming is 30 per cent of millennials say they have purchased at least half of the clothes that they own in the past year alone.

Instead of contributing to these issues and subscribing to this wasteful mentality, why not inject new life to your existing garments by giving them fresh new styles, with just a few tweaks? We show you how by giving you some of the best Youtube videos you can learn a few tricks from. Take a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle today.

Her World's sustainability issue

1. Best for: Fixing the fit

Skill level: Beginner

So you’ve binge-watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix special and ended up with a pile of clothes that “spark joy” but no longer fit right. What’s next? Take a cue from this short video, in which Glamour magazine shows us fuss-free ways to breathe new life into old clothes.

Have a little black dress that is a little too outdated for your liking? Snip off the stifling sleeves. Have an oversized skirt? Tighten the waistline and make it high-waisted. New wardrobe, sorted.

2. Best for: Lengthening dresses

Skill level: Beginner

Here’s one for the tall girls: Sarah Tyau who has been “refashioning for 10 years” on her blog joined the YouTube community in 2017 and has been posting tutorials on ways to refurbish old clothes. In this video, she shows how to lengthen dresses in quick and easy steps.

All you need is a strip of fabric that is closest in colour and texture to your dress, some thread and scissors. We’ll leave you to watch the video, but basically all you have to do is add the strip of fabric — with its hem sewed in — at the bottom of the dress.

3. Best for: Giving old shirts a facelift

Skill level: Intermediate

Twin sisters, Qjin and Qwon from South Korea, who go by the screen name Q2HAN on YouTube, are self proclaimed DIY enthusiasts with a knack for refurbishing old clothes into trendy pieces. In this tutorial, they demonstrate how to turn a boring office shirt into a fabulous asymmetrical one with ruffles.

Disclaimer: You’re going to need more than hot glue and scissors for this one. This project requires a tad more calculation and mastery in both sewing and drawing than the previous two videos, but the result is worth it.


4. Best for: Hacking thrift shop buys

Skill level: Beginner

In her Thrift Flip YouTube series, Ashley, a film student at the University of California and a rising Youtube star known as bestdressed, demonstrates simple yet effective ways to refurbish thrift store clothes, making them more flattering and less dated. In this video, she draws inspiration from clothes from Urban Outfitters, and shares her tried and tested methods for turning a pair of thrifted, oversized vintage Levi’s 501 jeans into a fashionable pair of high-waisted denim beach shorts (a trick you can apply to any old jeans).

Then later on in the video (9:57), she shows us how to get that cropped sweater sported by the likes of Bella Hadid on the streets of New York. Not interested in these tips? I’d recommend watching just for Ashley’s hilariously entertaining commentary — she’s so bright and bubbly that it’ll brighten up your day.

5. Best for: Turning outdated dresses into wardrobe staples

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Friends and former roommates Becky Wright and Kelsey MacDermaid started their YouTube channel The Sorry Girls, in University “to teach young women just like themselves how to make cute and unique Halloween costumes on a budget”.

And in this video, similar to the one above, they show how to “flip” thrift store dresses to make them more wearable for millennials. Their garments of choice — a retro floral buttoned dress, which they turned into a fashionable kimono, and a flowy long-sleeve print dress, which they changed into a halter-neck dress.

6. Best for: Aspiring brides on a budget

Skill level: Beginner

If you’re in the market for a wedding dress and are looking to make it yourself, you should definitely watch this. In the ‘about section’ of her YouTube channel, Amber Scholl said she had to “learn how to be broke and boujee” and it definitely shows in this DIY project. The only skill you’ll need for this is glue.

Yes, you read that right. Another entertaining video to watch, thanks to her chirpy enthusiastic monologue, you’d enjoy watching her turn a basic off-shoulder white dress into a sparkly, glittery tulle gown fit for the ballroom.

7. Best for: Revamping old jeans

Skill level: Beginner

Orly Shani, better known as The DIY Designer on YouTube, demonstrates a foolproof way to refresh an old pair of jeans, by simply adding an athletic strip to the sides. And all you’ll need are a couple of strips of a fabric of your choice and fabric glue. Yes, it’s that easy. This video is a little fuzzy because she was live-streaming, but you’d get all the knowledge you need.

8. Best for: Turning frumpy blouses into off-shoulder tops

Skill level: Advanced

In 2005, we were all about that boho-chic aesthetic made popular by Kate Moss. Now? Not so much. Thankfully, we have this YouTube tutorial by April, who goes by the screen name Coolirpa.

Here, she demonstrates how to turn an outdated (and frumpy) bohemian lace blouse into a contemporary off-shoulder crop top that wouldn’t be out of place at a music festival. The top, which even sports a lace-up back, requires extensive cutting, measuring and sewing, so this is not for a newbie to attempt.