Teddy’s Upcycled Togs

Find out about the impact of fast fashion and then recycle fabric to make an outfit for your teddy


When did you last get a new piece of clothing? How many t-shirts do you have? How many pairs of trousers? Do you buy your clothes new or from charity shops or other second hand shops? Do you know what upcycling is? Can we find ways of using upcycled fabric?

‘Fast Fashion’ is the name given to cheap, trendy clothing, that takes ideas from high fashion or celebrities and makes cheap versions of them for high street shops. The idea is to get the newest styles into the shops as quickly as possible so that people can feel they have the most fashionable things, and then discard them after a few wears. It forms a key part of the toxic system of overproduction and consumption that has made fashion one of the largest polluters in the world.

One way to combat this is to reduce the amount of clothes we buy new. We could buy second hand clothes or re-use the items we have in different ways.

Use upcycled fabric to make an outfit for your teddy

Look around your house for scraps of fabric. Perhaps an old sock, the bottom of some cut off jeans, a piece of ribbon or string or a t-shirt you have grown out of. Using these, see if you can make an outfit for one of your cuddly toys.

It’s a good idea to use things that wouldn’t be any good as second hand clothes for anyone else. So look for the sock with the hole in the heel or the the shirt with a stain down the front. Maybe the swimming costume that is no longer elastic or the jeans that have worn through at the knees. Think about how you could make use of the features that are in the existing clothes. Is there a button or a zip that would make a good feature in Ted’s new clothes?


Watch while you make

While you make your outfit, watch this video about where our waste clothing ends up when we throw it away. It is a snapshot of how fast fashion has a global impact.

Take it Further

Think more about recycling with this plastic bottles activity.

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