We all have old clothes that are worn, broken, or generally could not be resold or donated. But before you send the fabric to landfill, there are so many things you could do with it. Lets get a little creative with these 5 options.
Upcycling to new items
Whether its an old shirt, a pair of jeans or any other kind of fabric, you can turn it into so many things. Recently, I took an old pair of jeans and an old long sleeve shirt, and am working on turning it into a handbag like this one:
But I have also seen people make hats, wallets, scrunchies, or creative jewellery depending on how much fabric they have. You don’t even need to be a sewing genius (I am certainly not!) since some of them don’t even require sewing.
Fabric Wrapping Paper (Furoshiki)
I love fabric wrapping paper, as it still brings that joy of unwrapping a gift that so many people love, without all of the waste. You can use any kind of fabric for this, and it always looks beautiful.
Turn them into dish cloths or napkins
Are there good parts of the fabric that could be turned into squares? Why not cut them up, sew the edges (or don’t if you don’t mind the fraying) and use them as dish clothes) Just make sure that the fabric isn’t going to release a lot of micro plastics into the water and onto your dishes. Depending on the type of fabric, they could also be good to use as napkins or handkerchiefs.
While this might sound the same as the previous idea, I personally like to make a distinction from dish clothes, to clothes I use for cleaning the house. These I usually don’t sew the edges, and I let them get a distinctive fray so that they never get mixed up. I use rags for things like cleaning the shower, or the car, but you can really use them for anything.
If your fabric is organic and a material such as cotton, and you have no other use for it, then it can be put in your compost. Just make sure you do some research on that particular material, and whether it is suited to home or industrial composting. If your material isn’t compostable, and you can’t use it, why not see if someone else can? Lets try and stop anything going to landfill that can be put to use.
These are five ideas to reuse fabric you already have in your home. What do you do with your old fabric? I am always on the lookout for new ways to reuse the things I have – I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.