If you love sewing, then chances are you have a few fabric scraps left over.

Staring down at a sizeable pile of fabric scraps, wondering how to repurpose them? Make yourself a necklace, wrist cuff, or belt, or create patchwork garments to create your own zero-waste policy. Decorate with laces, ribbons, buttons - with everything that adds an extra wow factor to the creation!

Fabrics are the product of using huge amounts of water, chemicals, technology and people’s labour. So viewing them as disposable is the start of a long line of issues.

15-20% of fabric used to make garments ends up discarded and destined for landfill. Once there the fabrics break down – although for plastic derivative fabrics such as polyester they cannot break down entirely – and they then release greenhouse gases and the chemicals and dyes leak in to the surrounding environment and waterways. In a landfill’s low-oxygen environment, textile waste can take 40 years or more to biodegrade – while polluting soil in the process. With the rise of conscious consumerism, more designers are wondering what to do with fabric scraps besides throwing them away. What is left over should be recycled into small items like head bands, jewellery or other accessories; but the fact is that for most designers, it’s cheaper to dump the scraps than to recycle them- it takes time and energy to recycle and upcycle.

There are many ways to break from the cycle of waste – and plenty of creative upcycling ideas for repurposing fabric remnants and offcuts. Small pieces of material might not seem the easiest to use, but they can be the perfect size to create original one-of-a-kind items with a sense of waste-awareness.