Also referred to as “upcycling”, this R is all about taking something old and turning it into something new – and usually better! How many t-shirts do you own that you never wear? Why not turn them into a tote bag, wall art or a macrame plant hanger? Check out our You Tube DIY playlist for some inspiration!
By upcycling or repurposing our unwanted garments (and other textiles like pillow cases and bedding) it means we are keeping these items out of the landfill. Why does that matter? Well for every 1kg of natural fibres like cotton or wool that end up in the landfill, there are 4kg of Co2 emitted (plus methane). And synthetic materials (which make up about 60% of our wardrobe) like polyester and spandex, are plastic so they will stay in the landfill forever. Keeping our clothes in use for as long as possible is key, but there does come a time when a garment is ruined by a stain or a tear, and if beyond repair, can still have a life – just as a new product.
Repurpose isn’t just about turning old stained t-shirts into cool things. What about those items in your closet that you haven’t worn in years, that you’re either keeping until they will one day fit you, or come back in style? If you know how to sew, then why not alter it slightly to make it either fit or be more fashionable? And if you don’t have the ability to sew, you can always find a local seamstress who can adjust a hem or remove the sleeves and then, voila! you have a new repurposed item!
Finally, the worst case repurposing scenario is to turn your old, worn out clothing into cleaning rags!