5 Great Ways to Reuse and Recycle Old Clothes

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We’ve opined before on the woes of contemporary fashion and shopping culture. Clothing trends rise and fall like the tides of the ocean. We could spend thousands of dollars to build a modern wardrobe, only to find it near obsolete a few years later.

While we opt for generous helpings of classic, time-tested staples in our clothing diet, there are some trends we can’t fight. As a result, from time to time we must atone for our questionable purchases and purge our closets of the Clothes That Time Forgot.

What to do with these wardrobe castoffs? Standard procedure says toss them in a plastic bag and drop them off at the local Goodwill. But why not put your old clothes back to work? Check out these ways to reuse and recycle old clothes that you don’t wear anymore.

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1. Denim is precious; hang on to your old jeans

A few holes doesn't have to mean the end of your favorite jeans.

A few holes doesn’t have to mean the end of your favorite jeans.

Pair of jeans marred by a hole in the knee? We could tell you to snip off the legs and fashion a pair of jorts (Warning: link contains images not suitable for children), but it’s a look we highly discourage.

Instead, save your old jeans for a rainy day. When your favorite pair of jeans invariably begins to wear out, use fabric from the old jeans to patch them up. It’s like a skin graft for your pants. Don’t worry they won’t feel a thing.

Note: we do not endorse a patchwork look. I good tailor should be able to sew the transplant fabric into the candidate jeans, creating a near-seamless look.

2. Turn an old t-shirt into a stylish tote bag

This is a fantastic idea, one that is beautifully detailed here on Delia Creates.

green produce bag

Photo credit: http://www.deliacreates.com/

Re-using an old t-shirt to create a fashionable tote bag doesn’t require as much work as you think. Just a few steps and you can give new use to an old t-shirt that would have otherwise retired to life a dust rag. And with plastic bags slowly being banned across the country, this is a practical, attractive, and environmentally-friendly way to carry your groceries.

3. Turn a hoodie into a laptop bag

This may not be a long-term solution for your laptop transport needs, but it’s a clever and resourceful option. As demonstrated here, with a few folds and a knot (no sewing required), an old hooded sweatshirt can double as a laptop bag.

4. Expand your closet using an old belt

beltIf you really can’t part with your old clothes and could use a little more space in your closet, then this is for you. Clothes hang on a horizontal bar in a closet, resulting a lot of wasted space directly below the hanging clothes. Try taking an old belt and putting the buckle over the top of a hanger. The belt holes act as additional spaces for more hangers. This technique can double the space in your closet.

5. Host a clothing exchange party with friends

We believe that the number one reason people get rid of their old clothes is not because they are worn out or don’t fit anymore; it’s because they’re sick of wearing them. That’s just the product of seeing ourselves in the same outfit time after time and a desire for change.

Most of us feel this way. Your friends have clothes they’re tired of wearing too. Why not propose a trade? We’ve done clothing swaps with friends in the past and it’s a lot of fun because it’s truly a win-win arrangement. You get something new (to you) and you get it for what feels like nothing. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

The MyClothingHelper Blog is dedicated to producing quality content on practical and fashionable living advice. If you liked this article, please take a minute to explore our website and visit the store page.

How to Stylishly Reuse Your Old Clothes

Buying new clothes is great, thrilling even. But it’s not always financially feasible to do a complete style overhaul. “I need to update my wardrobe,” you may have heard a friend lament, “but I have no money.” But what if there was a way to spruce up your clothes without the expense? With some helpful advice from blogger Catherine Cassidy, now there is.

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24-pack MyClothingHelper (loose) - BEST VALUE Includes 24 clothing trackers. Does not include product packaging. $18.95

 

 

 

Cassidy suggests first purging your closet of clothes you no longer wear. MyClothingHelper offers an easy and fail-proof way of managing your wardrobe and identifying what clothes to get rid of. Then you can get get creative.

“I’ve guided clients to alter pants into shorts, take a couple of inches or some sequins off a dress to make it more current or simply using a small purse as a clutch instead. Also, don’t be afraid to try things that you think may not work. You might have a happy accident and find that it actually works really well!”

For clothing plagued by holes there are other options besides the dumpster. First consider the money, energy, and man-hours wasted when you dump your gently-used clothing. TipHero.com, an online guide to saving money, reports that a t-shirt takes 400 gallons of water to create, from cotton ball to store shelf. A pair of jeans requires 1,800 gallons of water. “Thus, when you throw away clothing that still has some life left,” says Tip Hero, “you are throwing away not only hard-earned dollars but also natural resources–some of which (like petroleum, and water) are not renewable.”

“Many of the quick fixes, and some of the more involved projects, may appear to require a sewing machine. However, given the long-lasting adhesion of many modern fabric glues, this is no longer true,” the site reports. Instead of throwing away your shirt, “if the sleeve of a blouse is torn, remove both sleeves and add a rim of lace or rickrack.”

Cassidy also outlines one of the biggest mistakes you can make when you do have cash to buy new clothes.

Duplication. Buying too much of one item because it’s a favorite, is a mistake. Dresses and skirts don’t count unless you have 5 LBD’s (Little Black Dresses) and 10 variations on a black skirt. Casual tees and tanks are often a problem. If you’re buying all of the same, you’re not doing yourself any favors as far as maximizing your wardrobe.”

By reimagining your old clothes and making wise new purchases, you can revitalize your wardrobe without breaking the bank. And if you use MyClothingHelper, knowing what you actually wear will help you make smarter clothing purchases and extend the life of your clothes. Not only will you save money and have new things to wear, you’ll feel good about not wasting resources associated with clothing disposal.

The MyClothingHelper Blog is dedicated to producing quality content on practical and fashionable living advice. If you liked this article, please take a minute to explore our website and visit the products page where you’ll find unique and helpful fashion products for sale.