4 Ways to Reuse Old Clothes


photo courtesy of Mom Smackley at Flickr

I tend to hold on to clothes until they’re falling apart — stains on the cuff, rips at the seam, and faded. In that condition, I don’t feel right donating them to a charity shop. But I also don’t feel right just tossing old clothes in the trash and adding to our ever-growing landfills. So I end up with bags of unwanted clothes taking up space in my closet.

Recently I stumbled across the bags while I was spring cleaning. Instead of just tossing them back in the closet and forgetting for another year, I decided to do find a way to re-purpose the clothes. Turns out, old clothes have plenty of new uses, and I’ve saved a bunch of money reusing something to boot.

1. Re-purposed Rags
I don’t keep paper towels in my house, so I always have a need for new rags. I usually cut up old towels into smaller squares to use as rags, but almost any sturdy material will work. For example, old T-shirts work great on windows, hardwood floors, and waxing your car. 
2. Personalized Quilts
It doesn’t take a lot of sewing experience to turn a handful of your old T-shirts into a quilt. I can barely hem a pair of pants, but I was able to make a cool, personalized quilt out of my old T-shirts. If you don’t want to make the quilt yourself, you can send your T-shirt squares to a professional designer. UBlanket makes customized T-shirt quilts for you — and they even save the scraps to make quilts for needy children. 
3. Re-purposed Clothes
This one does take some sewing experience, but with a little knowledge, you can turn your old clothes into dozens of new items. One of my crafty friends turned my old jacket into a purse, an old skirt into a wallet, and an old T-shirt into a new skirt. She only used the existing material and a few sewing supplies she already had on hand, so I got something new without using any new resources. 
4. Dusters
One-use dusters are an easy way to get the job done, but they’re not so great for the environment. Instead of adding to your weekly trash collection, why not just use an old sock? Put your hand through the foot hole and dust away. When you’re done, you can wash and reuse the sock several times over. I’ve been using one sock to dust my entire house for months. 
Those of four of my favorite ways to re-purpose old clothes, but the possibilities are almost endless. How have you reused your clothes in the past? 

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  1. Missjudymk

    2 years ago

    Salvation Army takes clothing in any condition. If it can’t be sold as is they make money selling these items for rags. Salvation Army provides so much for disabled people. Judy

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