15 ways to reuse clothes

There are so many ways to reuse old clothing. What way fits best for your situation mainly depends on the state of the clothes. That’s why this article offers 15 different options to reuse your old clothes.

1. Organise a clothing swap

If your old clothing is in good shape but doesn’t fit you anymore, or no longer matches your style, you can try a clothing swap. You can invite friends and family, or even strangers. Not only will you possibly make someone else very happy with your clothes, but you might also find something you like for yourself. By doing a clothing swap, you save your own used clothes from the trash and save others’.

2. Upcycle old clothes for new outfits

Upcycle? Don’t you mean recycle? No, I meant UPcycle. The idea of upcycling your clothes is to improve them so they can go through a whole new lifecycle. Websites like youtube and Pinterest offer plenty of cool idea’s to revamp your clothing items. Even if you’re not good with sewing, there are still more than enough options for you. Think about things like tie-dye or bleaching for example.

3. Make a blanket

Even if certain clothes are no longer suitable to wear we still really want to. Usually, because you really like the feel of the fabric, the item has a special memory attached to it or just because you like the print. What if you could gather all these items and make them into one snuggly blanket? This is so easy that you can do it even if you’ve never touched a sewing machine before.

4. Make them into plushies

No, I don’t mean silly sock puppets that we used to make as kids by glueing googly eyes on old socks. I mean actual plush toys that you could even give as presents. On websites like https://cholyknight.com/, you can find several free plush patterns for every skill level. There are even ones available for complete beginners, so it’s worth it to give it a try.

5. Use them for cleaning

If you’ve worn a shirt to the point that there’s literally no way of saving it, you can always reuse the fabric as a cleaning rag. Be sure to only use fabrics that won’t scratch the surfaces you’re cleaning, as denim would. A cotton t-shirt, for example, would make a great cleaning rag.

6. Make shirts into pillowcases

You can use old shirts to make them into nice looking pillowcases. You can even do this with blouses if you position them right. There are more than enough ideas to find about this on Pinterest, so get creative!

7. Make them into shopping bags

We already know that having a reusable bag is the way to go to save plastic. But what if you didn’t have to even buy a reusable bag? You can easily make your own from old clothing items.

8. Frame t-shirts with emotional value

That one shirt you got at the concert of your all-time favourite band for example. After wearing it too many times it will inevitably lose its shape or the fabric get’s too thin. It might even rip in some places. Understandably you don’t want to say goodby to a shirt that has so many great memories attached to it. So use it as a decor piece instead! by framing it you can hold onto it forever, and you will have a nice display piece for your home.

9. Learn to tailor or have them tailored

You are constantly changing as a person, this also goes for your body. Maybe you have gained or lost some weight recently, causing your clothes to not fit you as well as they used to. Or maybe you just bought an item that doesn’t fit you as well as you would like, but that you like so much that you couldn’t pass upon it. By learning some basic tailoring skills you can fix all of these problems quickly. By making your clothes fit you better, you don’t have to send them to a landfill.

10. Give to someone in need/donate

This one is pretty straightforward. Just because a piece of clothing no longer fits you or your personal style anymore, doesn’t mean they can’t be right for someone else.

11. Sell them online

Sometimes you bought something and regret it later. If you sell pieces of clothing like these, you can at least try to make some of your money back. If selling fails, you can always consider donating or upcycling the item.

12. Recycle them

If you can’t find any new use for your item, please don’t throw them in the regular trashcan! There are plenty of places that collect used clothed or even fabric scraps to they can be recycled properly.

13. Organise a swap cycle

When I was a child, my mom organised a clothing swap system with some other moms in our area. The idea was that I had to go through my closet twice a year and take out all the items that no longer fit me or that I didn’t like anymore. All these items were put into a bag or box and given to the person who was next on the list. They could take as many items as they wanted from the bag, and put in the items they purged from their own closet. Then the bag/box would be given to the next person who did the same thing. In the end, all items that were not taken out by someone else got donated to a thrift store or charity. Every cycle was started by someone else on the list so that it wouldn’t always be the same person who got the last choice.

14. Make hand warmers

This is a very simple and useful DIY project! All you need (besides your old clothing items) are a pair of scissors, a needle, thread and some uncooked rice. Just cut out 2 squares from an old piece of clothing and sew them together. Then fill them with rice and you’re done! You can make these heating pads in any size you want, so make some bigger ones for at home or some small ones for on the go!

15. Make a pencil case

Making a pencil case is another easy DIY project. If you go on Pinterest you will find many free patterns to follow. How awesome would it be to have a one in a kind pencil case that you used to wear?


Greennova is created out of a passion for sustainability. The vision is to create a sustainable world for humans and our role is to provide a platform where people can learn about how to become part of the solution.

Recent Posts