Fashion is fun, but it can also be problematic. By now, you’re probably aware that fashionable is very bad for the environment. For one, the industry produces millions of tons of plastic-based fibers per year, making it one of the biggest contributors to global plastic pollution. This means it’s responsible for many of the effects of plastic on the environment, particularly the ones that involve marine life. The industry also uses chemicals that pollute our waterways, contaminate the soil, and more. We describe in this article 6 fashionable Ways to revamp and reuse your old clothes
But the industry isn’t the only one to blame — consumers are also accountable. The average individual wears a piece of clothing only seven times before throwing it away. It then ends up in landfills where it decomposes and emits methane gas, which is far more damaging than carbon dioxide (CO2).
If you’re concerned about fashion’s effect on the environment, or if you simply want to live more sustainably, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a few tips on how to revamp your clothing, so you can avoid adding waste to landfills while actively reducing your carbon footprint.
1. Do some DIY tie-dyeing
Try your hand at do-it-yourself tie-dyeing by turning plain shirts into trendy, ‘70s-inspired tops that are sure to stand out. Tie-dyed shirts add a colorful flair to your outfit, making them perfect for music festivals, parties, and more. They’re also a clever way to conceal any flaws such as stains, so you can keep wearing your favorite tees for longer!
To tie-dye, any tee, find a shirt that you no longer want to wear. Divide it into segments using rubber bands, bearing in mind that the design will depend on how it’s tied up. Then, pour a fabric-safe dye directly onto your shirt. It’s best to combine two complementary colors (e.g. red and green), but you can always go all-out! You’re free to choose what patterns you want to create.
2. Convert them into costumes
Don’t know what to wear to a themed party? Don’t worry — if you have old clothes that you haven’t worn in years, you can turn them into a themed party costume. That way, you won’t have to run to the store to pick out the first (and chances are, the tackiest) costume you see. With your DIY skills, you can put together a costume that looks way better than a store-bought one.
You could, for instance, transform into one of the Men in Black by wearing an old black suit with sunglasses. Or, if you were invited to an ‘80s-themed party, you can scour your closet for windbreakers and polka-dot tops. Wearing old clothes as costumes is a great way to make use of clothes that would otherwise be out of style.
3. Practice your patchwork skills
Do your clothes no longer fit, regardless of how hard you tried to lose weight? Don’t throw them away yet. A fashion-forward way to bring life to your old clothes is by sewing them together. Get a couple of shirts that you can no longer wear, cut them up into sections, and then sew them together to create a single shirt. You could also cut a pocket-shaped section out of a patterned shirt, and then sew it onto a plain button-down to replace its current pocket.
If you’re not a big fan of the rugged look, you can use your patchwork skills to design a tote bag. Or, why not take a page from your grandmother’s book by making a fashionable blanket out of old tees?
4. Embellish your jacket
Embellished jean jackets will likely break the bank, but if you want to buy a brand-new jacket and still stick to your budget, here’s a hack for you: do it yourself. Make a bold statement and add “oomph” to your old denim jackets by covering them with beads or even your own artwork.
For low-key style, dot your denim jacket’s shoulders with white beads. Hand-painting the whole back using fabric-safe paint is also a great way to design a one-of-a-kind piece. As a bonus, you’ll get to show off your art when you go out! But if art isn’t your forte, you can use iron-on patches instead. For a feminine flair, you can replace entire sections (such as the arms and shoulders) with soft materials such as lace and chiffon.
5. Turn pants into shorts, dresses into shirts
Do you own a pair of pants that you’ve worn way too many times, but you don’t want to throw them away because it fits so perfectly? There’s no reason to part with your pants when you can turn them into shorts! The best part about this is you get to decide how long you want your shorts to be (great news for people who prefer modest wear).
The same goes for fashionable dresses. You’d be surprised to find that some dresses look better than tops! To add a “brand-new” shirt to your wardrobe, simply snip away at an old dress. Keep in mind that you may have to tuck in your “shirt”, especially if it was once an A-line dress with a noticeable cut by the waist.
6. Turn baggy tees into crop tops
It’s no secret that some t-shirts stretch with time. If you’ve got a shirt that has gotten way too baggy to be considered chic, why not turn it into a crop top? Or, if you’re into fitness, you can turn it into a tank top and wear it during your workouts. By doing so, you’ll be able to wear a single item of clothing as many times as possible.
It’s best to use a sewing machine, but if you don’t own one, you can hand-sew the edges of your new shirt. You can then turn the scrap fabrics into scrunchies or sweat bands so that nothing goes to waste.
You don’t need to buy brand-new clothes to be fashionable. So, if you find yourself with nothing to wear, the solution isn’t a shopping spree. Instead, ask yourself if you have any old clothes that you can revamp. That way, you won’t be contributing to the growing global waste. Your goal should be to wear your clothes for as long as possible.