What do you do with your old clothes or clothes you don’t really like anymore? Let them take up space in your wardrobe? Throw them away?
According to the charity WRAP the value of unused clothing in wardrobes has been estimated at around £30 billion.
Considering the amount of damage the clothing industry does to our environment, this cycle of buying excessively and throwing away is not sustainable. In order to prevent clothes going to landfill we have some things you can do to give your clothes a new lease of life.
This is quite literally the oldest trick in the book. Previously clothes would be altered to suit the new fashion, longer and fuller skirts could be taken up and taken in so they could be enjoyed again and again.
With modern clothing this often can’t be done due to the material used and the style of the original piece, modern details such as cut outs and sheer panels can make alterations tricky. However, it can be done! Shirts with damage can become crop tops, tank tops or even bandeau tops depending on the fabric. Turning jeans into shorts for summer is a classic upcycle that you only need scissors to do as denim doesn’t fray.
Instead of throwing clothes away, take this opportunity to practice your sewing skills. The more you do it, the easier it gets and if you’re unsure YouTube always has tutorials to help.
What to do with socks?
In a previous life socks would be darned and repaired again and again. Unfortunately this skill is fading from memory and most people wouldn’t know a darning mushroom if it tripped them up.
Instead of throwing away older socks, repurpose the material into a heating pad.
- Turn the sock inside out and sew closed any holes from damage.
- Fill the sock about halfway with rice and either tie the end of the sock or sew it closed if you don’t have the material.
- Insert this sock into the other one from the pair knot or seam first.
- Microwave for 1 – 2 minutes being sure to make sure that it doesn’t smoke or burn.
This little heat pad will work wonders for sore necks and back pain. Just don’t keep it on for more than 15 – 30 minutes at a time.
T-shirts are often bought very cheaply and this means they stop looking good fast. Think of the £3 ones from Primark where after a few washes the hem unravels and somehow you get holes in it. If you don’t want to wear it as a T-Shirt anymore, you’ve got yourself a few yards of material that you can transform.
Depending on where the damage is to the T-Shirt you could turn it into a baby grow, a tote bag or if the damage is far too extensive you can turn it into reusable rags for around the home. A quick trip to pinterest will show you the many ways you can turn your t-shirt into something useful.
The thing to remember when it comes to clothes is that it’s ultimately fabric. Fabric can be repurposed into so many different things that there is no reason to throw away any clothing. Turn old clothes into scrunchies, glasses cases and quilts if you’re having a big clear out.
If something cannot be donated, then it absolutely should not be going to landfill. Keep hold of those smaller pieces to turn into stuffing and make cat toys, absolutely everything can be reused down to the thread and spare buttons.
Don’t be intimidated by sewing there are a million tutorials online and the best way to get better is to practice, what better way to learn than by using old material in your wardrobe that would have previously gone in the bin.