What is luxury upcycling and how does it work?

Does the word upcycling give you mental images of badly crafted pillows? Well, then you haven't come across luxury upcycling!

Does the word upcycling give you mental images of vintage floral dresses becoming whimsical pillows and old bicycle parts made into slightly questionable jewellery?

It did to me.

I always felt that upcycling was a bit too DIY and crafty for me personally, and not in the best sense of the words. To be honest I hadn’t come across many re-worked pieces of clothes or jewellery that I actually wanted to wear.

I never truly got along with the old sewing machine anyway. I would have loved to be one of those people who just magically transformed old clothes into new beautiful styles, I’m just not.

So even though I have a keen interest in sustainability, I hadn’t really explored upcycling as an option for me.

However, that was before I realised that I don’t have to make my own stuff, I can buy things others have already upcycled. And I got* my first ever piece the other day.

And what a piece it is! I’m totally blown away with the imagination and skill of the girl that made me this beautiful choker necklace from a VINTAGE CHANEL BUTTON!

Yes, I’m serious, this is a “real” Chanel. Well, at least the main part of it is authentic. This is luxury upcycling at it’s best.

At first, I was wondering if I was tiptoeing the line of buying counterfeit. But after careful consideration, I decided that no, in the end the button is real, the person who made it is not in any way hiding that it’s made from a button and neither will I.

…and also, what a gorgeously sustainable way to take something unwanted and making it the star of any outfit.

It made me think of when I was younger and put the lock from my Louis Vuitton bag on a gold chain and wore it around my neck. I had no idea that it was actually luxury upcycling I was doing.

Because in the end upcycling is the art of taking something we don’t want anymore and transforming it into something desirable.

But It made me think of what else I could re-work and make into something completely different. (No pillows and bicycle-parts for me still…). But maybe an old pair of trousers that could become cool shorts (yes, cut off denim is upcycling too!). An old dress could become a skirt and I have a bag that would look nice with a new strap. With a bit of imagination, the options are endless.

…and now I know you are going to aks me for the details of who made me this necklace. She obviously has very limited stock and tends to be sold out most of the time. But if you want to get one for yourself, give me a shout in the comments and I will email over her details.

So, what do you think about luxury upcycling? Would you give it a go?

* I didn’t exactly buy it, I got the necklace as a Christmas gift from my boys. But it was one of those I chose for myself. 

Photos – Roz Alcazar

Does the word upcycling give you mental images of badly crafted pillows? Well, then you haven't come across luxury upcycling!

1 Comment

  1. Audrey Kemp

    Love the Chanel button neckpiece! Can you send me contact details for the maker please? Love your blog as well! Thank you!

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