How to Repurpose Fashion – 5 Ways

by Bhagya L

We’re halfway through Winter now. With the New Year just around the corner, a little Spring cleaning is under way. Bidding goodbye to the dreadful year that was 2020, it would definitely be a good idea to do some early cleaning this year and put away a lot of unwanted closet space takers, to welcome 2021 with a fresh head space (and wardrobe space).

Whether or not the pandemic will finally be under control, we’re not sure. But hey, it’s always a good time for sustainable thoughts.

Starting off the year with a clean, tidy and organized closet is one of the best ways to train your mind to be sustainable. Besides, as you clean, you are sure to find some unwanted pieces that could possibly bring a smile to someone else’s face. And what better time for gifting than the New Year?

So let’s get to work.                              

Here are 5 amazing tips on how you can repurpose your old and used fashion items.


sustainable fashion repurposing fashion

DIY never goes out of style. Any day every day, a classic hack to repurpose old used clothes is to look up Pinterest, and DIY your way into something new. When you do some DIY tricks, be sure to use good quality accessories and good quality stitching so that you are encouraged to reuse your newly created pieces and not discard them altogether.

Here are a few examples to get started.

  • Cushion covers and coin purses out of old button down shirts – use the button down front panel for the cushion face and use the full sleeve cuffs with buttons for your coin purses
  • Bed sheets out of patched up T shirts
  • Berets out of old T shirts and pillow cases
  • Denim mini skirt out of old denim jeans
  • Friendly bleach to revamp patters on old plain clothes
  • Tie dye

Textile recycling programs

sustainable fashion repurposing fashion

Consider local textile recycling programs for clothes you simply cannot use or reuse in any way. Instead of throwing them away, donate them to non-profit initiatives that take care of old clothes. Fast fashion brands like H&M also offer recycling programs to which you can lend your clothes and they’ll put them to good use. According to statistics Americans apparently throw away more than 10 million tons of unwanted fabric in a year and unsurprisingly a good majority can be recycled.  You can consider programs like GrowNYC and USAgain to donate.

Clothing swap

sustainable fashion repurposing fashion

Clothing swaps with family and friends are always fun and exciting. Especially if you have cousins and friends your same age and who wear the same sizes as you, it would be a great opportunity to always try what you’ve always loved in your their wardrobe. Host a swap party and have each person bring 5 to 10 pieces that they wish to swap. Throw in some drinks, food and games and have fun.
In regards to the pieces, you can always work on the clothing in case they don’t fit you. Add or remove a few inches, add a belt, add a button – anything you wish.


sustainable fashion repurposing fashion

Donating is one of the best ways to support your local community. You can donate to a number of people who may need a helping hand with clothes. Refugees, people living on the streets, new families or immigrants who may have just moved in to the city, orphanages, churches – the list is pretty big. You can get in touch with any of your local authorities in city affairs to find out the organizations and support groups that accept donations. It will definitely make you feel better.


sustainable fashion repurposing fashion

Last but not least, you can use websites like Poshmark and Tradesy to resell some of your clothes. This is for clothes that you may have had in your closet for a long time, untouched with even their price tags on. You may no longer fit into them or you may no longer be interested in wearing them. Either way you can give it to people who would love them and make easy money, just by sitting at home.

Here’s a bonus tip – pull out everything in your closet and clean out the clothes that you don’t need. Then categorize them in to each of these five sections to make the best of repurposing.

You may also like