How to Re-Purpose Old Clothes

Old-ClothesClothes don’t last forever, but just because they have worn out and can no longer be worn as they once were, this does not mean that they should be added to the huge amounts of waste that we all, as individuals, create each year. Clothes take energy to produce and energy to transport, then there is the carbon footprint of the waste industry. We should all do what we can to make sure that we live sustainably, reducing, reusing and recycling. Here are just a few suggestions for some ways that you can re-purpose old clothes that are not ready for the scrap heap just yet:

On-Trend Redesign for Handy Sewers:

If clothes do not fit anymore or you just never wear them any more then you could choose to give them away to a charity shop, swap them with friends or even sell them at a local sale or online. One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure, as the saying goes. However, you could also take those items and fashion them into something new. Take a pair or jeans and turn them into some shorts, make a top or skirt from a maxi dress, or a tailored skirt  from an old shirt. Not all sewing projects need to be difficult and complex – anyone can learn to chop and change a garment and make something exciting and new.

Recycled Denim

Crafting or Quilting:

If the clothes you have are a little too far gone, thin, fraying or threadbare – don’t chuck them out. Fabric sections still offer a wide range of exciting re-purposing options. Just think of all the work and energy that went into creating this fabric in the first place and give it a new lease on life as part of a craft project. Turn old T-shirts into shopping bags, use some funky fabric and an old zipper to make a pencil or make-up case. Felt old wool jumpers to make a hat or slippers. Triangles of old skirts could be sown together to make a funky throw, while other hard-wearing fabric would be perfect for cushion covers. The options are limited only by your imagination. Smaller fabric sections can be cut out to make an old-fashioned quilt. Using fabric from some favorite items could bring back lovely memories every time you look at what you have made.

Rags and Tatters:

Still have some small, tatty bits of fabric left? These too may be saved from the scrap heap. Some can be used as rags for cleaning, small squares of old towels could be made into washcloths. Make a scarecrow or bird-scarer for your garden, use clean cotton scraps to cover jars of jam or preserves, or use small scraps of rag to tie your hair up overnight for lovely loose curls in the morning. If you have a lot of scraps of fabric then you could even make a very cool rag rug for your living space, like one your grandmother might have made.

Repurposed Towel

These are just some of the many amazing options for re-purposing old clothes, so before you chuck out that old top, just think, what else could it become?

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    • Janey
    • September 5, 2015

    I love this and I love to sew..

    • Sandra
    • May 23, 2018

    This sweater is awesome!

    • Sandra
    • May 23, 2018

    I love this sweater. What a great idea.

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