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Green lifestyle: Jane and her Textilebeat are doing upcycling


Green lifestyle news: I met Jane Milburn for the first time at the Green Heart in Carindale, Brisbane, a month ago. I attended the fair to keep one eye on what local people here meant about sustainability. Jane made me curious about upcycling, and I had to try what she was talking about in person.

Green Heart Fair october 2013

Jane is an agricultural scientist who values the resources, effort and cost of producing natural fibres. That led her to find creative ways to rescue garments made from wool, linen, cotton or silk and recast them for a second life. So I started connecting everything to sustainability; what can be more ecological than upcycling?

Our clothes are statements about our personality, values and perspective. But, she says, every day, we make choices on what to wear, but unless we, friends, and family are empowered with simple sewing and design skills, we are a slave to current fashion in-store and online.

Constantly seeking new clothes can be time-consuming, expensive and overwhelming. The alternative is to become more inventive and reuse, repurpose, and recreate existing pieces in our wardrobes.

Jane-MIlburn-wears-slow-clothing-Photo-by-Robin-McConchie-Green Heart Fair

I attended one of the workshops in Brisbane (South Bank area): Jumper-to-skirt conversion using garment surgery – a half-day workshop. For the first time in my life, I had sewn and made, with Jane’s help, two beautiful dresses and one lovely show.

Textile Beat is a social enterprise inspiring the upcycling of natural fibres, fabric and textured objects and following the heart on a creative journey by working with integrity, creativity and purpose. It was established in 2013 by Jane Milburn and Ele Cook in Jane’s studio in Brisbane, Australia, to value quality natural fibres and tap into potential opportunities to repurpose existing garments for pleasure, reward and sustainability.

If you are interested to know more about this excellent way to be sustainable, please have a look at