Do you know how many clothes you’ve owned throughout the years? All the clothing items you’ve had since you were little, and those you currently have, could fill a truck. This is especially so if you're someone with a well-invested wardrobe. Have you ever stopped to think about what happens to all of those items?
Although there are different ways to dispose of your used clothes, the process of starting the decluttering is half of the battle. You can make extra money by selling old clothes online or help those in need by donating to shelters. Are there items you find hard to let go because they carry too many memories? There’s a creative and environmentally friendly solution if nostalgia blocks your efforts in getting rid of your old clothes. Learn how to recycle them by reading below
Recycling and Green Living
Did you know that nearly 100 percent of textiles and clothings are recyclable? You can help reduce waste in landfills if you repurpose your outdated and unused clothes.
Here are some examples of how recycling old clothes can contribute to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle:
Turn a t-shirt into a grocery bag
Almost any closet is sure to have t-shirts that haven’t been worn in a very long time. Your favorite ones could still be in your closet even if they’re not your size anymore. If you still want to see them around the house, give them a brand new purpose. Turn them into grocery bags!
By turning t-shirts into grocery bags, you would get to use them every time you go to the market. Bonus: They’re washable and reusable, too! Not only will you have a functional and stylish bag to bring, you will also minimize trash by ditching brown paper bags or plastics from the market. Pinterest will give you tons of upcycling ideas to try or you can follow this no-sew grocery bag tutorial.
Make rags out of worn out clothing items
You probably have a bunch of work clothes that have holes and tears and are no longer wearable. Cut them into several pieces and make rags for various uses at home. Instead of using paper towels when drying plates, have a designated rag for this use. Check your boxes of unused clothes and see which ones you can turn into floor mops or furniture dusters.
Raise your hand if you agree that onesies are the cutest. This is especially the case after you have watched your children grow yet still fondly remember their tiny bodies fitting in the crook of your arms. Most parents hold onto their children's onesies despite the stains, tears and thinning due to multiple use. Fear not, these nostalgic remnants of cloth can be easily transformed into adorable plushies. The best thing about this upcycling project is that you get to revamp pieces of clothing that hold precious memories for you and your family while saving money. If you're curious where the money saving idea comes from, read on.
Your kids would have new toys you made by yourself! Your children will love the plushies because they know that you created them with love. The plush toys will also be extra special for your little ones because they know they’re made out of their own old clothes. Having a photograph of your little one in their keepsake onesie will make it all the more special for them.
Admit it, we all have that one wardrobe item we can’t part ways with even if we’ve outgrown it. Perhaps it is something that was worn at a special event or given to you by someone who holds a remarkable place in your heart. Whether it is a sweatshirt from grandma or a time honored marathon shirt, keep your favorite piece for eternity. By transforming your treasured clothing into a DYI pillowcase, you won't have to say goodbye. Give it a new purpose without having to say adios to old memories.
Speaking of pillow, have you heard of memory pillows? If you have held onto a piece of clothing from a loved one who has passed, make a memory pillow that could be a wonderful tribute. An old button-up shirt is ideal for this DIY project. It’s also easy to make. You can follow this tutorial that has sew and no-sew instructions. It’s a functional keepsake that will always remind us of our cherished memories of our loved ones.
Clothes Recycling: Skirts
Do you have old printed skirts with unique design patterns? Use them to cover storage boxes. Dressed up storage boxes could also make lovely decorative pieces especially if you prettify them with coordinated patterns of your well-loved boho skirts.
Wise Ways, Not Waste
The clothing recycling tips above are great ways to help reduce the massive used textile waste generated each year. People are purchasing 60 percent more clothes today compared to year 2000. Because of the fast-changing trends, consumers feel the need to always update their wardrobe and make sure they’re always in fashion. And since there are fashion brands that sell trendy clothes at low prices, consumers will never stop creating that fast-fashion need.
Did you know that it takes over 713 gallons of water to make one cotton shirt? Although cotton is a natural fiber, its production can be damaging to places known to have water stress. On the other hand, synthetic fibers like polyester may cause less damaging effects on water than cotton but then emit more greenhouse gases per kilogram.
How You Can Help
Whether you buy clothes made of natural fiber or those with synthetic materials there will be harmful effects on our environment. What can you do to minimize these negative impacts?
- Build a classic and minimalist wardrobe. This way, you won’t become burdened with the ever-changing fashion trend. Instead, invest in timeless pieces of clothing like a white button-down shirt, plain neutral-colored tees, little black dress, nice-fitting jeans. These items will never go out of style so you won’t have to throw them away if a new trend conquers the fashion scene.
- Repurpose clothes so they won’t go to landfills. If they’re still in good condition and you don’t feel like recycling them, make money out of those old clothes by selling online or at consignment stores.
If you are searching for more ways to live an earth friendly lifestyle, Daily Mom has you covered! Be sure to read Growing a Greener World Through Coffee because who doesn't want to do well by the earth through your daily caffeine fix.
Thanks to Sophie for guesting posting. Sophie is an aspiring blogger who loves to write articles about anything and everything under the sun. Get to know her by following her on Twitter.