The seasons are slowly but surely turning and it’s time to get rid of the old clothes in your wardrobe and give it a brand-new look. But while it’s always exciting to invest in a new wardrobe, it is expensive and it’s not very sustainable throwing out old clothes after the end of every season. So, what can be done? If you want to give your wardrobe a new look, but also don’t want to spend a fortune, here’s what you can do:
How to upcycle and reuse your clothing
The word ‘upcycle‘ may sound like it will cost you a lot of time and effort, but if you follow the right tips and tricks, it shouldn’t be. With around 300,000 tonnes of clothing sent to British landfills every year, it is now more important than ever to try and recycle, upcycle, reuse and to produce less waste.
Turn old sweaters into cosy knee-high socks or boot cuffs
If you have a couple of old sweaters, you can quickly and easily turn them into the best sock or boot cuffs ever. For socks, simply cut off the sleeves and sew the end of the sleeve together. For boot cuffs, you can simply use a part of the sleeve that fits around your leg and wear them with your favourite pair of boots.
Use a flannel shirt for a brand-new waistcoat
A flannel shirt can easily be upcycled as a waistcoat. Just cut off the sleeves at the elbows and roll them up, or cut them at the shoulders and sew them off. You can wear your new waistcoat over a neutral long sleeve top for a whole new, grungy look.
Cut old summer dresses and turn them into stunning cami tops
If you need a few pretty tops to wear under a jacket or coat, simply cut a few old summer dresses at the hips. Sew them off so they won’t fray and wear them under your favourite winter coat.
Last season’s sweatpants can become this season’s crops
If you cut off a small piece of the pipes from your old sweatpants and add elastic material to the ends, you have a pair of trendy new crops.
Use stretched t-shirts as beautiful new headbands or scarfs
Hair accessories and scarfs are always trendy, and if you’re clever, you don’t have to spend a cent this new season. Your old stretched t-shirts can easily be upcycled to new headbands and scarfs. For headbands, simply cut the t-shirts in strips, sew the sides together and try it on. For scarfs, you can just cut longer strips, sew the sides together to create cylinders, and then plate a few strings together.
Buy a pre-loved piece of clothing
There are so many second-hand clothing shops that sell excellent quality clothing, shoes and jewellery at incredible prices. Especially when it comes to necessary items such as jackets, coats and boots, it is worth it to pop into your nearest thrift shop to see what they have. You will often find some top brands selling at heavily discounted prices, as well as a few rare gems!
What if you need a few new items?
It’s not always possible to upcycle all your clothes. So, it’s not a crime to buy a few new items for yourself now and then. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you go shopping:
- Find a sustainable clothing store or at least one that has an eco-friendly or sustainable range.
- Donate a few old items first before you buy new pieces of clothing.
- Look for affordable clothes and specials on websites such as Kimbino. This website hosts all the latest catalogues from the best clothing stores such as Jet and Edgars. Buying from overpriced stores will not only make a huge dent in your pocket but is also not very sustainable.
- Buy clothing that you can wear with a variety of pieces you already own. This includes pieces in neutral colours and items with subtle patterns.
Upcycling your clothes is an affordable and very rewarding way to give your wardrobe a new look. Remember that adding a few accessories, such as a hat, scarf or a pair of colourful gloves can also make your outfits look brand new. Get excited and don’t be afraid to experiment!