Upcycle to Slow Down

By Jessi Miller - Photography by Ralph Demilio

The environment might not be top of mind when shopping for the perfect spring ensemble, but every cute purchasing decision can have a significant impact on mother earth.

The fashion industry produces 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions — more than international flights and shipping combined. A big culprit is “fast fashion,” a term we give to inexpensive clothing rapidly mass-produced in response to the latest trends.

So to give mother earth a little sigh of relief and your look a one-of-a-kind twist, slow it down. Embrace the “slow fashion” movement, which involves more sustainable practices, zeroing in on overconsumption and overproduction. Upcycling is a perfect solution. Reuse and repurpose existing materials, transform them into something new — or simply pair them with some of your existing treasures for a new feel.

This thrifty tactic reduces the amount of landfill waste by extending the life of clothing that might otherwise be thrown away. The need for new raw materials also decreases, saving water, energy and resources. If you reduce your carbon footprint with a pair of irresistible vintage shoes, you won’t see the same pair around town and you’ll be setting a positive trend.

Upcycling isn’t simply conscientious, it’s fun. Nothing matches the exhilaration of finding a novel piece of clothing that is perfect for you, knowing you only paid pennies on the dollar and that it’s not being sold anywhere else. By using existing materials, upcycling encourages a more experimental and creative approach to fashion, allowing individuals to push the boundaries of traditional style and create their own unique look.

Boasting these unique treasures not only sets you apart but it saves money, and furthermore, can influence the way other consumers think about clothing to promote more responsible consumption habits. You’ll discover that looking great never felt so good.

To celebrate Earth Month, we challenged ourselves to an upcycling quest with some of Ocala’s local beauties. Our first stop was Marie Mortez, who’s pop-up shop we discovered at the Oddities Marketplace. Marie has an absolutely fabulous vintage clothing emporium called Love Shack, where she offers high-end treasures originating from near and far. 

Get inspired and find your look:

• https://linktr.ee/zellajune

• Instagram: @loveshack561

• Poshmark: @zellajune

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