It’s been a month again. So much for my self imposed target of posting at least once a week!

Recycled denim convertible duffel back pack

Recycled denim convertible duffel back pack made with pieces of pre-loved jeans.

It has been a very busy month, not just with the business but with personal stuff and with projects I am involved in supporting. One of those projects is also helping to shape the direction of the wording I use in relation to Losana B, the brand, and is aiming to spread awareness of textile waste and change the language used around it the world over.

You see many of us involved in working with textiles that would otherwise have gone to waste feel that that language used to describe our textiles doesn’t quite fit. Re-cycled is a word I use purely because it is the word I have found customers relate to and understand. They themselves use it in reference to any textile that I use regardless of whether it had actually been used or not. Just the fact that it was owned by some one else and originally destined for something else but never arrived at that destiny due to damage, fault or even falling out of fashion and was therefore declared waste makes my use of it recycling to them.

To me I am not recycling. Recycling would be taking the component parts of the textile, the fibers themselves and reducing them back into raw material fibers then re spinning and reweaving. Much like an aluminium can is melted down into liquid metal and reshaped. A process to do just that does exist but it is far more resource intensive and therefore wasteful than simply reusing and produces an end product of lower quality than the sheet textiles that came from it.

I far prefer the terms reclaimed, rescued, re-made and even renovated. An explanation of terms I currently use can be found on the About page here but I am constantly reviewing and trying to improve on them.

So why not up-cycling? If I took a pair of jeans and altered them in a way that improves them and makes them usable again but such that they still look like jeans then I would see that as up-cycling. But I am more likely to deconstruct the jeans and use the component parts in something brand new that doesn’t look like jeans at all.

Words Project by the Up-cycled Cloth Collective Infographic

About The Words Project

The project I’ve been involved in is The Words Project, a creation of Melanie Brummer and an off shoot of the Up-Cycled Cloth Collective. Melanie is the kind of force for good and change with a love of textiles and up-cycling that I aspire to become! The Words project has been set up to bring together ideas from around the world to illustrate in a tangible way online and eventually in the physical form of a quilt the different words we could be using around working with ‘waste’ textiles. Read more about it here, join the Up-Cycled Cloth Collective if you’re at all interested or even curious about textile up-cycling and waste and join in if you can!

The list of words members have come up with so far is enormous, just a few I can remember off the top of my head include rejuvenated, reinvented, re-purposed, re-loved, re-fabricated, re-souled, salvaged, reshaped, revived and re-imagined. Over the next few weeks I will be examining my own use of language around the textiles I use and hopefully finding a way forward I am truly happy with to describe my own work.

I will also be completing my own piece of work for The Words Project over the Christmas holiday and I’d love to see some of you join in as well. In fact I’d love it so much that if you would like to but don’t have the materials to enable you to then get in touch, I have plenty and I will happily provide what I can to who I can. I’ll provide you with a base square of fabric, scraps to applique and/or threads to embroider depending on your design idea and I’ll even provide a needle!