The Thrift Flip: Sew Sustainable

Following on from Constance Lam’s mouth-watering article about the best foodie Youtubers to watch, highlights the best channels which promote sustainable fashion in the form of recycling and regenerating old clothes.

By Lula Roberts

It’s 2020, so it’s not surprising that fast fashion brands are being scrutinised for their enormous carbon footprints, poor quality garments, and promotion of unsustainable lifestyles revolving around fickle trends and throw-away culture.

However, in a direct response to this there has been an influx of YouTubers making “thrift flips” – videos in which they alter clothing from vintage and second-hand shops, updating items to give them a new life.

These YouTubers all share the same message: our everything-is-disposable attitude towards clothing has to end.

Alongside these, there are a rising number of videos on YouTube about how to sew your own clothes from scratch. Channels like bestdressed (3.33m subscribers), WithWendy (1.08m subscribers), and Micarah Tewers (1.23m subscribers) are the some of the forerunners in this sustainable fashion movement. Between them these channels have 200+ videos of thrifting and sewing content ready for you to binge watch.

  • Ashley (bestdressed) runs a channel which combines lookbooks, apartment makeovers, and chatty videos with major big sister energy. Most significantly, she thrifts and alters old clothing both to enhance her own wardrobe and to sell on her website (we love entrepreneurial women). Her videos are accessible not only because of her self-deprecating and dry sense of humour, but also because she makes her thrift-flips with easy alterations such as re-hemming, taking in clothing by sewing darts, and, in a fashion truly emblematic of this era, cropping oversized jumpers.
  • Wendy (WithWendy) offers more in-depth DIY/sewing tutorials of her making new items of clothing from scratch, replicating expensive items and engaging with current trends without purchasing from fast fashion retailers. She also makes videos which discuss why thrifting is significant and why it’s gaining traction in the fashion community.
  • Micarah Tewers has gone viral for DIY-ing replicas of multiple red-carpet dresses, including gowns worn by Lady Gaga, Lili Reinhart, and Billy Porter. She also made a workwear dress out of a sofa she found on the side of the road. Whilst Ashley and Wendy offer step-by-step tutorials, Micarah is instead the source of a lot of sewing envy.

These YouTubers all share the same message: our everything-is-disposable attitude towards clothing has to end. They are truly ahead of the game; British Vogue’s January 2020 issue focused on ‘archive fashion’ and movements in the industry which tackle climate change, but this is an issue that Influencers and Fashion Bloggers have been trying to highlight for years.

There are a rising number of videos on the YouTube platform about how to sew your own clothes from scratch.

Thrifting has definitely become a more attractive option recently, and more and more of us are selling our old clothes on Depop with the hope that someone else will make good use of them. Unfortunately, this has not stopped fast fashion brands from becoming increasingly popular, with many celebrities securing brand deals that push a consumerist narrative on platforms like Instagram.

Yet, with an increasing focus on environmentalism, the sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. So, check out these YouTubers’ channels, and then ring up your grandma and ask to borrow her sewing machine. You won’t regret it.

Image: jackmac34 via Pixabay

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