6 Creative Ways to Reuse and Recycle Old Clothes

There are times when you need to do a brief review of your closet and filter your clothes. Most surely, you’ll find pieces of clothing you no longer wear or are in no condition to take out on the street. Instead of throwing them in a trash bin, there are hundreds of ways to deal with them. Learn how to recycle old clothes and find a great use for them again.

Why Should You Recycle Old Clothes?

You might think throwing a few old pieces of clothing away won’t hurt anyone. In fact, it might. Statistics place the fashion industry among the biggest pollutants in the world, so those old clothes are really something to think about. Therefore, instead of throwing them into a dumpster and buying new ones, you can always find better things to do with them.

If you want to recycle old clothes, you can always go to a recycling center that is specialized in processing textile materials. However, you can always donate the clothes or repurpose them into other pieces of clothing. As long as you are creative, you’ll always find a new use for them.

How to Recycle Old Clothes

The first step in the process is to filter all your clothes. Take everything out from your closet and then start sorting all your pieces of clothing. First, select those you still like and want to wear and put them back in. Then, you should re-sort the things you no longer like.

Some of them might be in a great state, meaning that you can find great uses for them. Those in a moderate state can still be used, especially if you repurpose them. In the end, you’ll be left with the poor state ones. These ones are pretty suitable for recycling centers, as they can be shredded into thinner strips and turned into new textile materials.

1.      Swap Clothes

After you have sorted all your clothes, it’s time to find a use for them. Those that are in a good state are perfect for clothes swapping. This means that you can bring a few friends over and ask them to bring the clothing they no longer like. Then, you can give them your old clothing in exchange for theirs.

This is one of the most fun ways to recycle old clothes. You and your friends get to do something together, while you can also find nice clothes without having to spend any money. Although it doesn’t really sound like recycling, you still save the material used for those things you are not going to buy.

2.      Go to a Consignment Store

These stores are places that are willing to take your old clothing and then sell it for you. In the end, you’ll receive a percentage of the sales. If you think about it, it’s a win-win situation. You get rid of the extra clothes while still getting some money for them. At the same time, you help the owner of the consignment store, and both of you contribute to saving the environment.

3.      Donate Your Clothes

There are many people who cannot afford to buy clothes. In this case, you can gather all those old things that are still in a good state and find a charity foundation. These places don’t only gather money to help the poor, but also encourage people to donate clothes, food, or other objects that might be useful in a household.

Instead of buying new clothes for the poor, you can think of the donating alternative. There must be some textiles that are still worth wearing and that might look great on someone else. Instead of contributing to pollution, you can always opt for donating old clothing.

4.      Take Them to a Recycling Center

Some pieces of clothing might be in such a bad state that there’s basically nothing you can do with them. In this case, recycling is always an alternative. If no one can make use of your old rags, recycling centers will be eager to take them and turn them into new textiles.

They have special mechanisms that process the rags and make them usable. It doesn’t matter if they are bleached and full of holes. Any piece of textile material works. In case you know no such recycling place, there are other solutions.

Popular clothing stores encourage recycling, so you can ask them for information. Many of them have actually installed recycling bins within their shops, so you can take your old clothes with you when you go shopping and drop them into such a bin.

Person holding a pair of scissors

5.      Repurpose Them Into New Pieces of Clothing

Some of these old clothes might still be wearable, but maybe you no longer like them. In this case, you can easily add a brand new item to your closet by turning these clothes into something else. For instance, you can turn a pair of long jeans into a short one or into a skirt. A long-sleeved blouse can become a top, while something old and boring can easily become more fashionable with a few additions.

As long as you stay creative, you’ll always find ideas to repurpose old clothing and make it wearable again.

6.      Repurpose the Clothes Into Other Useful Items

In some cases, the new clothes won’t look too good even if you alter them. When this happens, you can still repurpose them, but not into new pieces of clothing. Bleached T-shirts can make for bags or other storage items, while colorful textiles can be used to make decorations. If you are into DIY projects, you’ll definitely find a use for any material you are no longer planning to wear.

Summing Up

One easy thing you can do if you want to give the environment a helping hand is to recycle old clothes. This activity is incredibly fun and saves you a lot of money. It allows you to be creative and turn boring clothes into fashionable new items, or maybe organize a fun activity with your friends where you exchange textiles. You can find hundreds of ways to recycle old clothes that will help both nature and your finances.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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