It is common that when a piece of clothing breaks or stops fitting, it is discarded without a second thought. However, this is an action that causes serious long-term problems. Why not recycle clothes?
The industry that produces fabrics is one of the responsible for climate change, since the dyes that are used to pigment the fabrics represent 20% of the toxic substances found in water bodies.
In addition, discarded clothing ends up in landfills and may take months or years to degrade depending on the fabric they were made from and the chemicals used during that process.
So, to avoid the increase of contamination with the waste of clothes, we propose you some ideas to reduce the purchase, recycle clothes, the ones that don’t work and reuse clothes, can be great options.
Why recycle garments?
The fashion industry is one of the largest revenue generators.
Due to the advertising and marketing campaigns, most people are convinced that every year you must spend large amounts of money to buy new clothes, appropriate to your style and the trends of the moment.
When the clothes we buy wear out, have holes, some stains or just stop staying on, they tend to be placed in a bag and discarded in the nearest container.
This is a terrible practice because the clothes are not separated in the proper recycling containers for their materials. Moreover, such clothing – which is still useful – can be useful to a person who does not have the resources to buy new clothes.
For this reason, it is important to include the three R’s in your habits, to help the environment and be supportive of the people who need it most.
10 ideas to recycle the clothes you no longer use
There are many ideas for giving new use to clothes that you don’t use because they are old, out of season, no longer fit or you don’t know how to use them.
From taking unused clothing to collection centers to transforming pieces of clothing into totally different pieces, these are just two of the endless number of ideas you can implement to give new life to textiles.
Once you’ve implemented them in your life, you’ll have more storage space in your closet and new clothes without spending a lot of money.
So read the 10 perfect ideas for successful recycling for your space, the environment and people in need.
Reuse and create new clothes
This is one of the most fun ideas to turn your clothes into a new garment and put them to use again.
One of the important tools is your imagination, so that you can look at those clothes you have in store and see what they can become.
Some examples of following this method are cutting up some old trousers to turn them into shorts, which you can decorate as you like and use during the summer.
Somewhere in your closet you must have a very large shirt, which you can cut in half and turn into a set or use a belt and wear it as a dress
If you have a jacket with torn sleeves in the closet, roll up the sleeves and turn it into a vest.
It’s just a matter of looking at inspiring images so you know what kind of clothes you want to have in your closet and how you can transform the ones you have into those clothes.
Donate your unused clothes to non-governmental organizations
If instead of selling your clothes you want to donate them to people in need, you can go to non-governmental organizations or collection centers.
To make the process of separating clothes and giving them to people easier, they carry the clothes and shoes separated by size and according to sex in different bags.
Leads to recycling points
In some cities, there are clothes recycling bins where you can deposit clothes that have holes or stains.
From time to time, fabric recycling companies remove the clothes that have been thrown away in the container to move them to their processing plants.
Once in the plants, the clothes are separated according to the fabric and color to begin their treatment and to be able to reuse the raw material.
Sell at thrift shops, Internet or garage sales
To sell the clothes you don’t use you can use several methods, including solidarity markets and internet sales sites.
Solidarity markets are usually held during the weekends and people are willing to buy second-hand clothes or exchange them for some other.
Another alternative is to take the clothes to second-hand shops, so that they pay you a small amount of money for the clothes you offer and sell them to other people.
Finally, you can create a user on a sales website or promote an Instagram profile dedicated to selling your clothes at affordable prices.
Stuffing for cushions or pillows
Another idea is to use clothes or cloths made of soft fabrics such as cotton to fill the cushions or pillows you have at home.
You only need to have the cushion or pillowcase that you want to fill and insert the shirts or cloths until it has a soft and comfortable texture.
As an additional idea to this concept, you can also make your own covers with the clothes you want and add decorations that match your home’s theme
Bring them to life with new colors
Sometimes, clothes lose their pigment, so they look like a worn out and widely used shirt.
To give them their initial look of new clothes, you can apply a dye in the color of the garment.
Also, in case it is a light colored garment, you can change its color for some darker tones.
Finally, it is important to note that the tie-dye method, also known as knotted dyeing, is again part of the trend. So you can encourage yourself to make a colorful design by following the steps of that technique.
Decorate with original designs
If you’ve stopped wearing your clothes because you find them boring, don’t let that be an excuse to leave them in a drawer.
For a boring shirt, use scissors and make some holes for a more casual style.
In other garments you can use lace, beads, fabric scraps, glitter and even buttons to give them a fun and modern look.
Comfortable bed for your beloved pets
If you have a pet at home or want to adopt one soon, it is ideal to have a bed for them to rest, better if that place gives them warmth, is soft and comfortable.
To make your bed you must find two towels and completely sew three of its four sides.
In the space you left unsewn, insert several shirts until you feel the bed is comfortable enough and when you are done, sew it up.
Swapping clothes with friends and family
If you have clothes or shoes in good condition, but they don’t fit, you can offer those clothes to family and friends, especially those who have the same size as you.
In this way, they will also be encouraged to exchange their clothes with you or an acquaintance who they know will use them.
In case you don’t know people with your size, you can go to popular markets to exchange them with people interested in your clothes.
Making toys out of clothes that you no longer use is also a positive alternative for the environment, as well as offering a reason for children to have fun.
In every house there are socks without a partner, what to do with them? A very common idea is to make funny puppets and then use them in funny plays at home. An ideal activity to do with children.
If you have bigger clothes like shirts or dresses, you can make dolls or stuffed animals to decorate the rooms of the little ones in the house.
Each of the toys you make with the little ones in the house can be decorated with buttons, embroidery, fabrics from other garments and whatever you want. The idea is to let your imagination run wild.
You already have some ideas for getting out all those clothes you have at home and don’t use. Projects to help, transform and give a new use to your clothes.
The best thing about all this is that, when you finish your project, you will reduce your ecological footprint, you will help some people and you will entertain the little ones in the house.
Do you have any other ideas? Tell us about it in the comments.