• Emily Duff

The rise of reworked fashion

During my first day in Sheffield I wandered down West Street and immediately became infatuated by COW, a vintage shop with locations across the UK. To my disappointment, they do not have a shop in my hometown of Newcastle. 


I picked up a branded tote bag during my first visit - useful for the weekly food shop but also cute due to the use of reworked fabric. COW sells a range of tote bags, but this one caught my eye because of the bleached yellow dye against the thicker black material, which differed from their other beige canvas bags. 

While being super cute, this bag also reminded me of my voyage into tie dye and reworked fashion during lockdown in March. I gathered old white tops and the brightest clothes dyes I could find online and lucked out with the gorgeous weather - an unusual occurrence for Newcastle.


From spirals to crumples, it was fun to experiment with different patterns. However, I noticed the pattern on my COW bag was unlike what I had created, appearing more circular and purposeful than my haphazard methods. For me this exemplified the uniqueness of reworked fashion and gave me something to try in the future. 

On my next trip to COW I was on the hunt for a sweater vest and hit the jackpot. They had just reworked a vintage Lacoste jumper to be not only sleeveless, but cropped with elastic to fit me like a glove. This added shape helped to define its thick material against an undershirt, ensuring that I would not be washed out by an abundance of material. Reworking old pieces helps to give new life to items that would usually be ignored, which encourages the increase of slow fashion and for creativity to be presented in new ways.

Not only is reworking old clothes a more sustainable way of staying trendy and updating your wardrobe, but it is also a fun venture. I lack skills in sewing or knitting yet, despite freaking my mum out with bright dyes being poured all over her garden, my attempt was rather successful and I felt very accomplished with my tie dye skills - and if I can do it, anyone can.


Edited by Katie Wheatley

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