A Sustainable Wardrobe. 5 Epic ideas to re-purpose your old clothes
November 22, 20213 min read
Ok so your sweater is 6 years old and finally it’s time to either get rid of it or do something fresh with it. Before you take it down to your local Vinnie’s store we’ve got some other ideas that you may find interesting…
1. REPAIRING YOUR ITEM TO ITS FORMER BEAUTY A little rip in the side seam never hurt anyone! All minor damages can easily be repaired at home with a simple needle & thread. You can easily fix broken straps, replace lost buttons and close that little tear with a some simple hand-sewing. With your knits you can repair yarn pulls by pulling the loose thread carefully back through to the inside of the garment and looping it into the next stitch with a dull.
2. HOW ABOUT REPURPOSING IT INTO SOMETHING NEW? If you still love your piece but feel like it needs a change or a little something extra how about trying to make it into something new? A few examples could be:
Dye it a new colour (You can even make your own natural garment dyed with Beetroot, Charcoal, Turmeric etc… Alternatively you can buy garment dye from your local haberdashery store or Spotlight
Shorten the length of your dress
Cut the sleeves off to make it sleeve less, or how about making it a shirt or jacket by cutting it open at the front?
Add a ruffle to the hem or sleeve & make a plain dress more ‘feminine’
Cut your pants into shorts or make it into a Skirt (un-pick the entire inside leg seam)
Unravel the knit, learn to knit and knit it into something else like a hat, scarf or new top!
The options really are endless... Get onto pinterest my friends!
Ok, so you’ve had that dress for near on 12 years now, mixed it up a few times, chopped the hem, added a new hem, cut off the sleeves and finally it’s time for it’s next life… Here are 3 other ways in which you can help move your favourite pieces onto their next life.
3. GET ON EBAY & MAKE SOME MONEY! There are so many awesome sites that you can use to sell your old fashion pieces that you no longer wear. Etsy, Instagram Poshmark, Ebay are just a few to start with. You can also research your local consignment stores that may accept your old items for resale (Often original brand names work best for these types of stores).
4. COTHES SWAP PARTY WITH YOUR PALS Get the gals around, cheese board ready, pop the bubbles and you’re away laughing….and shopping – can life get any better?! A clothes swap with your friends is such a great idea as, well, you already love them and think they have great style so who better to exchange pieces with!? Get on it, stat!
5. DONATE OR RECYCLE SELECTIVELY An oldie and something we’ve all been brought up thinking is the best option for old items but unfortunately only about 10 – 20% of items donated through these clothing bins actually make it into the hands of a new owner (Council for Textile Recycling, 2018). Donation centers typically hand off 80-90% of donated items to textile recyclers, who down-cycle them by turning them into house insulation or rags. Alternatively, the donated items are diverted from the recycler to other countries who often don’t need them, so the items are sent directly to landfills overseas. A sad reality. So before you go and throw your old items into these bins I ask you to stop and think about possible alternatives.
Maybe there’s a vintage store in your hood that might like some of your pieces? Maybe the family down the road has girls a few years younger than you and would love to ‘Shop’ through your old wardrobe? It’s better to gift straight to the source than to wash your hands of your pieces and ‘hope’ for the best. I know it’s not always possible but being aware and conscious is a great start.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any other ideas of how to re-purpose your clothes! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
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