More people are now upcycling to breathe new life into their home while saving money, learning new skills and avoiding needless waste.

Social media has driven this resurgence into the old ‘make do and mend’ mentality of the 1940s – but taking it several steps further into the 21st century with online ticketing and event platform Eventbrite seeing the number of upcycling events grow by over 50% in the past three years.

This is never more the case than in Huddersfield where rag rug making expert Kim Searle has seen a big rise in the number of people attending her Darn It! workshops.

While the term ‘upcycling’ was coined almost 30 years ago, the trend has reached new peaks and audiences in recent years thanks to TikTok content creators using Eventbrite to share interior trends and DIY hacks.

For instance, #FurnitureFlip has amassed a staggering 5.4bn views on TikTok worldwide to date and #ragrug has reached 8.8m views.

Huddersfield-based Kim is the founder of Darn It! workshops where people can learn new craft skills. She is also co-founder of Thread Republic (, a sustainable textile hub that encourages people to use old skills to make their clothes more sustainable such as sewing a button back on, darning knitwear or patching a hole. 

Kim travels around the UK teaching the heritage art of rag rugging to people of all ages. Sometimes known as proddy or proggy, the technique uses old clothes and scraps to make rugs.

Kim, of Oakes, said: “It comes as no surprise to me that there’s been an increase in people attending upcycling events on Eventbrite since lockdown. I’ve noticed this myself as many more people have booked onto my rag rugging workshops when lockdowns ended.

“They’re catching onto the value of creating something beautiful out of something old and using a technique their grandparents used. People are more interested in the ethos of second-hand textiles and what they can do. Upcycling can be beautiful, it can be a mindful process and I’m even getting university students attending workshops to be social somewhere other than the pub.

“Rag rugging has a history that varies from village to village where they used different tools and gave it different names, but ultimately it produces the same eco-friendly rugs. My style is loopy and not shaggy which sets my workshops apart.

“We use old clothes, second hand textiles and T-shirt yarn that would otherwise have been sent to landfill to make our rugs with coffee sacks as a base instead of brand-new hessian. I’m made up that I’m part of this ever-growing restor-cation and upcycling movement.”

Sebastian Boppert from Eventbrite added: “It’s clear that social media has played a crucial role in the return of the upcycling trend. And, after an initial video binge, it seems many are inspired to start upcycling themselves. That’s when they turn their screens off and seek out real life classes and workshops to get proper advice and guidance on how to do it.

“The upcycling days have moved on from simply slapping paint all over a piece of furniture. Fuelled by the popularity of programmes such as The Repair Shop, people are looking to nurture and respect pieces – returning them to their former glory in the proper way. This is why we are referring to the trend as ‘restor-cation’ – it’s as much about educating yourself as it is restoring.

“Of course, there is a sustainability movement that is feeding into this trend too as people push back against the throwaway mentality to reduce wastefulness. And, finally, we’re facing a cost-of-living crisis that prompts many people to find new ways to save some money.”

To find out more about a range of craft sessions in Huddersfield from book binding to mosaics and macrame go to

  • Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting