I was inspired to write this post by a question I get asked often by my Upcycle Design Masterclass students. It seems so basic and yet it's fundamental when you're starting an upcycled fashion or accessories brand.
How do I come up with an idea for my upcycled fashion or accessories business?
If you're reading this you're probably all about thrifting and upcycling and you love the idea of turning your passion for saving the earth into a business! A business that you love and is rewarding, but you just don't know what materials you want to upcycle, so you're having a little trouble getting started.
It's important to know what you CAN do, and start from there.
1. Make a list of materials you can find near where you live. Do you live on the coast where there are raghouses in your area? Do you live in the countryside where you are more likely to find estate sales?
2. Make a list of skills and strengths you have.
Are you great at sewing?
Can you make your own patterns?
Are you a genius at marketing?
Do you paint?
3. Make a list of things you enjoy doing and that you would enjoy creating.
Do you love denim?
Are you into knitting?
Are you interested in melting down plastic or working with old tires?
4. Make a list of problems or needs you can solve with an upcycled garment or accessory.
What things can upcycling solve in your daily life?
For example, I eat a lot of salad and I go through 4-6 plastic salad containers a week.
I have often thought about how much waste that is and wondered what I could do with all of those containers.
Next, use a brainstorming technique for finding new ideas such as this one:
1. Start from a main keyword in the center of a bubble then brainstorm around the bubble with related words. Then, add sub categories to the related words and highlight the most important and relevant words that interest you. [see illustration below]
2. You’ll then have a starting point for a new project. These words can be about a concept, fabrics, textures, colors, locations, materials, resources or whatever you want…. there are no rules here.
3. Sketch your ideas if you’re more visual
4. Start a mood board of images and keywords. It can be on Pinterest or printed and pinned on a cork board
If you're still stuck, here is a quick list I jotted down of small business ideas for upcycled clothing and accessories brands:
I would love to know what amazing and unique upcycled business ideas you come up with! Reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org Use the subject: #upcycledbusinessidea
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