upcycling club header illustration

Start an Upcycling Club

upcycling club header illustration

Start an Upcycling Club

Start an upcycling club at your school and share your passion for making things sustainably with others!

An upcycling club teaches others how to upcycle their clothes instead of buying new ones which reduces waste as well as greenhouse gas emissions from clothing production.

  • A location to host your club
  • Materials for your projects
  • Approval from your school principal
  • A teacher supervisor
  • Your creativity!
Upcycled rubber boots (Pusteflower9024, iStockphoto)
Upcycled rubber boots (Pusteflower9024, iStockphoto)

Upcycling means taking old or discarded objects and using your creativity to make something new! You can upcycle clothes, furniture, shoes and even recycled materials. When starting your club, you may want to decide what kinds of things you will upcycle. This will be based on the materials you have available. 

Potential materials (Ariadna Cortes, iStockphoto)
Potential materials (Ariadna Cortes, iStockphoto)

An important part of upcycling is that most of your materials should be used or discarded. Think about where you will get your materials. Will everyone in the club bring things from home? Will you ask for donations from other students at your school? Materials might include pre-loved t-shirts, sheets, furniture, shoes, or accessories. 

Upcycling can also require: glue or tape; a needle and thread; or a sewing machine. Think about how you will get those materials as well.

Family studies classroom (Kong Ding Chek, iStockphoto)
Family studies classroom (Kong Ding Chek, iStockphoto)

Make sure your club has a suitable space available. If you host your club at school, maybe there is a makerspace or sewing room available. If you will be working with tools, you will need a woodshop or tech lab. 

If you plan to host your club outside of school, you could ask a community centre or library to share a space.

It is also important to think about how often your club will meet when choosing your space. Every week? Once a month? 

Students putting up a poster (FG Trade, iStockphoto)
Students putting up a poster (FG Trade, iStockphoto)

Every club needs members. Get started by asking a few of your friends to join your club. Then you could get approval from your school principal to put up posters to advertise it. Once your club is up and running, think about how you will get new members to join. 

Club supervisor and members (SolStock, iStockphoto)
Club supervisor and members (SolStock, iStockphoto)

If you are hosting your club at school, you will need a supervisor. Make sure you have a teacher or staff member who is available to supervise your club. If you plan to use tools it is important to have a teacher who knows how to use those tools.  

Inspirations for an Upcycling Club

  • Take your upcycling club to the next level by selling your creations and donating the profits to a charity or environmental organization.
  • Have you always wanted to get into the fashion industry? The FIDM Fashion Club mentors high school and college students who want to pursue careers in design and creative business. Check it out here: https://fashionclub.com/what-is-fidm-fashion-club/
  • If you love what you have created, make sure to enter our “Check out my Green Style” Challenge for the chance to win______.