If your clothes take too much space in your closet, maybe it’s time to declutter the Marie Kondo way. But you may start to wonder how you will upcycle the clothes you’re not using anymore. How can you reuse garments from fast-fashion brands? How can you recycle shirts that you’ve outgrown?
The textile waste in landfills is appalling. According to EPA, it’s estimated that the generation of textiles in 2018 was 17 million tons. Only 14.7 percent of it was recycled, but questionable facts about the fashion industry’s sustainability just make matters worse. This is why we need to take the matter into our own hands. Recycling old clothes you don’t wear anymore is the best way to help reduce textile pollution.
Recycling can be a creative process, too. Check out these ideas you can do for those old clothes.
Modify Your Old Clothes
If you know how to sew, you can definitely transform those unwanted clothes into new ones. However, a sewing machine is unnecessary as long as you have the basic sewing tools and innovative input. There’s still something you can do with outdated clothes. Alter them to look more fashionable. Give new life to those old jeans you used to love by ripping knee holes in them using a pair of sharp shears. In addition, you can turn tank tops into crop tops. Cut out the sleeves of your shirts and use them while working out. You can get hippie and do a DIY tie-dye project, too. There are a lot of online tutorials that you can watch to help you with this initiative. This doesn’t only make your old clothes updated, but also brings out your resourcefulness. Involve friends in this activity and make it a weekend bonding moment.
Use Your Old Clothes for Bedding
This is when you might need a hand for the sewing process. Get creative and make customized blankets and mattresses for your bed. The results will depend upon the amount of fabric you will use. You should use the lightest textiles as much as possible. Make a collage using different shades of the color you like and beat the cold winter winds with your comforter. Use textile scraps to fill up the sheets inside. You can also do this to make a pillow. Make mattresses that complement the color you choose for your blankets. Moreover, you can make pillowcases out of cotton shirts. They’ll look good if you use printed fabric. Now, you have a reason to repurpose those leopard-printed clothes you wore in high school.
Sell the Good Ones
Make a profit out of those clothes that are still in good condition. Unused clothes with tags still intact will be your best-sellers. Market them in a unique way. For example, you can start an online boutique and set up an Instagram account only for this project. Spread the word and let your friends do the same by sharing it on other platforms. If you want to go extra, hire a full video production team and make an ad that showcases all the clothes you’re selling. This is perfect if you’re selling luxury brands, too. Make it your little fashion event. High-end items need a high-end marketing production. You can also arrange a pop-up shop in your garage. Make it look presentable and attract customers by being imaginative. Earn decent money from clothes your closet doesn’t need anymore.
Make a Present Out of Them
Speaking of some clothes that are still in good condition, those are perfect as hand-me-downs. Make your upcycling project more meaningful by giving the clothes as gifts. Presentation is the key to making your presents look chic. But before anything else, there are things you have to keep in mind. It’s better to ask the potential recipient first if they are willing to receive your clothes. Let them know that these clothes are totally clean and usable. If they’re into the style, that’s the time you should prepare your gift. Give it a personalized touch by including a note in the package, telling your friend why you have chosen them to receive the gift. This adds value to simple hand-me-down clothes. Don’t settle for plain vanilla. Show off your artistic skills and make the item look presentable. To make your gift more appealing, put the clothes in a fancy box. Who would have thought that giving secondhand clothes could be this special?
Giving your clothes another chance is a noble way to rescue the environment. Not only will it help you tap into your creative side, but it will also contribute to the reduction of textile pollution. Your unique handling of used clothing items can definitely be done for a cause.