Gen Z upcycled fashion takes off during Covid-19 lockdown


It can be seen all over the social media accounts of young people - Tiktok, Depop and Instagram are now flooded with how-to-videos and images of upcycled, customised and preloved clothes. With the doors of most clothing stores temporarily shut during the Covid-19 lockdown, young people have become increasingly more interested in upcycling clothing and are keeping busy by selling their items online.

Who else can promote to young people the concept of turning old fashion into new fashion BUT young people?

Some established designers may see this as bad news especially if upcycled clothing is their niche in the fashion industry, but honestly, it could also be an opportunity. I had such a hard time trying to convince my 15-year-old daughter that upcycled clothing can be fashionable and trend setting, it wasn’t even worth the energy sometimes lol but once she’d seen this style of dressing being done by someone she could relate to, someone her own age, it was like a switch turned on for her. All of a sudden she’s making cuts in her denim and actually picking out items to wear from Salvos.

Now, I’m definitely not Gen Z lol but over the past month or so, myself and a handful of indigenous creatives have been working on a slow fashion initiative called 50/50 – 50 upcycled or repurposed pieces for $50 each. Obviously, this helps to promote sustainable fashion habits but it is also an opportunity to snatch up affordable, one-off pieces.


made a denim planter today with my mum @arohalangley 😄😄♻️👖 ##fyp ##foryoupage ##upcycle ##diy ##datingstorytime ##bringitback ##shareyourplaylist

♬ Levi High - DaniLeigh

Personally, I’ve enjoyed seeing my social media timelines filled with the creative energies of young people and in some cases, have taken inspiration from their unique point of view. There is nothing more fashionable today than utilising clothing items already in circulation, creating less waste and promoting green, sustainable fashion.