10 Creative Ways To Reuse And Recycle Clothes To Keep Them Out Of Landfills

From fun DIYs to easy upcycling hacks we have got it all covered 💖

If you have a sibling, we are sure you probably have a lot of hand-me-downs from them. It could be a t-shirt they no more like or a skirt that doesn’t fit right. The fact is we’ve all been there. And it’s probably the best way to reuse old clothes – sharing them with family and friends.

But if we look at the bigger picture, according to the EPA, only 2.5 million tons of clothing waste was recycled out of the 17 million tons of textile waste that America generated in 2018. And over 11.3 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills. So, let’s make small changes at our end and learn about more creative ways to reuse and recycle clothes, so they don’t end up in landfills.

Fun ways to reuse old clothes at home

Let’s look at some fantastic ways to repurpose old clothes and make them into beautiful home decor, helpful household items, fun DIY projects, and much more.

1. Take up some DIY projects

recycle clothes - DIY project t-shirt comforter

DIYs are perhaps the most fun ways to recycle clothes. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to repurpose old clothes to make various DIY accessories like tote bags, comforters, scarves, footwear, and more. You can even get crafty with old t-shirts or jeans by making them into a picnic blanket or a bed for your canine.

Check out some really fun DIY projects below –

2. Upcycle it to something new and trendy

recycle clothes - diy sashiko denim repair

Upcycling is one of the best ways to repurpose old clothes. It not only reduces the amount of waste that you create but also gives you a creative outlet. If you have a lot of old clothes lying around, then why not turn them into a trendy new outfit for yourself like patchwork jeans or a hand-painted jacket or dress. Just take some time to explore what you have in your closet, and you will be surprised at how much fun it is to make new outfits with your old clothes.

Here are some trendy ways to add new styles to your wardrobe –

3. Turn them into useful items for your household

recycle clothes - denim napkins

One of the best ways to repurpose old clothes is to turn them into useful household items. Cut your old t-shirts into small pieces and use them as cleaning rags. You can also recycle your clothes into towels, washcloths, reusable makeup removers, or handkerchiefs for everyday use. They can also be used as an absorbent for your kid’s art and craft projects. In addition, shredded clothes are great for insulation in your home or garden. You will be surprised at the numerous possibilities out there to reuse your clothes within your home.

Mindful ways to reuse old clothes at home and save some money –

4. Repurpose old clothes into home decor items

recycle old clothes - Upcycled macrame wall hanging

If you have clothes that you just cannot give away, then our recommendation is to repurpose these old clothes into home decor items. This way, you can keep these clothing items with you, but at the same time they will not take up a lot of space in your wardrobe. Just make sure to wash and clean the old clothing items before turning them into decor for your home.

Here are some beautiful home decor ideas to recycle your clothes –

5. Make cute outfits for the little ones in the family

recycle your old clothes into dresses for toddlers

Repurpose old clothes to make cute clothing items for your kids. Children love to have fun with their clothes, so you can give them a new fashion statement by making them something fun and new, like a beautiful dress or a cute onesie. You can also make toys from old clothes, such as stuffed animals or dolls.

More ways to keep your clothes out of landfills

If you are not a fan of DIYs and crafts, then here are some more hassle-free ways to recycle your clothes quickly.

6. Host a garage sale or resell old clothes online

recycle clothes - resell online or host a garage sale
Goodguilt / Canva

Don’t throw away the clothes that you no longer wear but are in good condition; host a garage sale instead. Garage sales are a great way to resell your old clothes and make money from them. You could also try reselling your old clothes online via online shops such as eBay, Refashioner, Poshmark, or Thred Up.

7. Give them away for a good cause

recycle clothes - donate them
Julia M Cameron / Pexels

Many organizations take your gently-used clothes to help those in need. For example, if you have women’s officewear that you no longer need or don’t fit you anymore, you can take it to donation drives organized by Dress for Sucess. Dress for Success is a global non-profit that empowers women to achieve economic independence. However, remember only to send clean clothes in good (wearable) condition. When you give away unclean clothes, it not only gets discarded but also contaminate other clothing items that end up in the landfill.

8. Swap them with friends and family

recycle old clothes - swap with family and friends
Ron Lach / Pexels

If you have a lot of old clothes that you can’t get rid of just yet but don’t want to throw away, consider turning them into an outfit for someone else. Recycling clothes doesn’t have to mean trash! You can swap them with friends and family so all of you will have different clothes to experiment with, and none of them end up in the landfill (aka mission accomplished!)

9. Take old clothes to the nearby animal shelter

recycle clothes - diy pet toys
mimionawhim / Instagram

Animal shelters are a great way to recycle clothes. These places always look for donations and will gladly accept your old clothes. This way, you will not only be supporting your local animal shelter but also be showering some love and care to our furry friends. The shelter will recycle your clothes to make rags, blankets, and toys for the animals. Ensure the clothes are clean and good enough to be used by another person or animal.

10. Recycle clothes at a local recycling center

recycle old clothes - clothes recycling center
poklibny / Instagram

If you have some old clothes that are simply too worn out to be used anymore, consider sending them to a local recycling center. Many cities have these services that will take in used clothing and turn it into new items. This is a great way to recycle clothes and also help keep them out of landfills where they can take up space for years.

Related Article: 24 Ingenious Ways To Reuse And Recycle Waste At Home

Hopefully, we’ve been able to give you some inspiration to recycle clothes creatively. The good news is that reusing, recycling, repurposing, and upcycling are easier than they have ever been before. What’s more, they’re not only effective in diverting old clothes from landfills—they can also provide you with an abundance of unique and beautiful items to enjoy using while also saving you time and money.

So, the next time you clean out your closet, don’t throw the clothing items away. Instead, turn them into something beautiful or get rid of them responsibly.

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