8 New Uses for Old Clothes to Give Them a Second Life
If you have lots of old clothes and don’t know what to do with them, then check out how you can give them a second life. Some you’ll know about, but others may surprise you – read on to discover 8 new uses for old clothes!
1. Uses for old clothes: donate them
Charities and humanitarian organizations often have donation bins where you can donate used clothing. There are likely to be several in your area. What’s more, they provide a job opportunity for people at risk of social marginalization, who will sort through the donations. Don’t underestimate the value of donating your used clothing.
As a result, you’ll be helping provide these people with meaningful work and your clothing will go to those who need it most.
See also: Thinking About Throwing Out Clothes with Grease Stains? Try These Tricks
2. For shelters
You can also take your used clothing directly to homeless shelters. They often give the donations to those with disabilities or to nonprofit organizations. They’re also responsible for distributing donated items to those in need. Additionally, they may resell them to fund social projects like the donation bins for used clothing.
3. Trade them
This is especially useful for children’s clothing. Most of the time, the problem isn’t that the clothes are old, it’s that they no longer fit. Because of that, one possible solution is to trade them. You’ll be putting garments that are still in good condition to use again and getting clothes that fit in exchange.
You can find opportunities like this in special markets or stores that allow you unlimited exchanges of clothing for a flat rate. There are also websites that specialize in this service. You’ll have to do a little digging around on the internet, but the possibilities are limitless.
4. Are you handy?
Maybe the items that you consider old just need some updating to look good. In that case, mending clothes or finding a business that can make small repairs and alterations can help you save money. In addition to that, you’ll be doing your bit as a responsible consumer!
Read more: 4 Easy Ways to Save Money Every Month
5. Renew your wardrobe
If you no longer want an item of clothing simply because it’s not in style, consider altering it to give it a fresh look. Here are a few different things you can do to give new uses for old clothes:
- Cut off old pants to make them into new shorts
- Sew a patch on or embroider your old garments
- Take in pants that are too big
- Add buttons and other accessories
- Or, finally, check out different websites to give you ideas of what’s in style and how to alter your old clothes
6. Make toys or cover books
You can also find new uses for old clothes with all sorts of exciting crafts. To do that, all you need is your imagination! Use socks and buttons to make puppets and other fun characters your children will love.
Another great way to reuse old clothes is to cover and protect books. To do this, colored fabrics are best, and they can be used to cover your diary, favorite book, or photo album. It adds a unique touch to any item.
7. Home furnishing
Use your old clothes to update a neglected lamp:
- Use fabric and glue to cover a lamp shade
- Cut the fabric to size and cover the shade
- Or, alternatively, try adding buttons or different patterns and colors
You can also make a picture frame using fabric from old clothes:
- Use cardboard or wood to act as the frame and wrap it with fabric to make a nice frame for one of your favorite photos
- Or, alternatively, use unwanted clothing to line an old frame that you want to update with a new look
8. Make a quilt
You can mix and match squares to make a beautiful quilt for your bed out of your old clothes. Remember the softer the fabric, the better. The fabric of some T-shirts is really soft and, because of that, can be used to make the perfect quilt.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Jain, V., O’Brien, W., Gloria, T. (2021). Improved solutions for shared value creation and maximization from used clothes: Streamlined structure of clothing consumption system and a framework of closed loop hybrid business model. Cleaner and Responsible Consumption, 3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666784321000334
- OCU (2023). Contenedores de ropa, ¿a dónde va mi ropa usada?. OCU. Consultado el 5 de julio de 2023. https://www.ocu.org/consumo-familia/consumo-colaborativo/informe/contenedores-de-ropa
- Organización de las Naciones Unidas (s.f). UNEP and UN Climate Change provide fashion communicators with practical guide to contribute to sustainable change. Consultado el 5 de julio de 2023. https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/unep-and-un-climate-change-provide-fashion-communicators-practical