Skip to content
Spools of thread flat laid onto a multicoloured background

EYES ON UPCYCLING

Upcycle your beloved clothing

Everyone’s got a couple of favourite pieces in their wardrobe, but what happens when you lose that loving feeling towards them? Take a second to think before looking over at your recycling bin – with a bit of creativity and some DIY skills, you can refashion and boldly change your clothes so that you’ll love them even more.

It’s time to upcycle your beloved clothes. Keep reading for ideas on how to upcycle clothes.

Upcycling clothing: Why is upcycling important?

Upcycling clothing is good for two reasons. First: our study on people’s clothing habits shows that many of us actively express who we are through our clothes. So, upcycling clothing is a great way to customise your old garments and make them unique. Are the buttons on that shirt not ‘you’? Swap them out. Got a pair of jeans that are stained? Cut them up.

Second: it’s better for the planet. Sewing a patch onto your trousers or fitting a new lining into your jacket instead of throwing them away reduces the number of clothes that will end up languishing in a landfill. 

Upcycled clothing ideas

The beauty of upcycling clothing is that you can let your creative side run wild. And when it comes to how to upcycle clothes, there’s no strict definition of what the word means, so define it yourself.

Upcycling clothing can be as simple as altering garments to remove ripped or stained areas. Or it could be as radical as ripping up an old denim skirt and wearing it as a top (Rihanna made it work!).

Maybe, those old jeans sitting in your wardrobe could turn into a nice 'eco-bag'. If winter is coming, you might want to refresh last year's sweater by adding some fashion pom-poms to it (you pick the colour). Speaking of colour... some colourful beads might be all you need to create a fresh looking pair of flats shoes. And, if summer is around the corner, check out the magic of tie-dye below (hello new Tee!). 

Get the look: tie-dye upcycled t-shirts

It’s time to turn your old favourite t-shirt into your new favourite t-shirt using a tie-dye method. It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake during this process – the t-shirt you finish with will be unmistakably you.

  1. Start by dissolving the dye with salt in warm water
  2. Submerge the garment and stir for around an hour. 
  3. Rinse off in cold water, then wash again in warm water before drying. 

Different dyes have different methods, so always follow the instructions on the packet. Remember that hand-dyed clothing requires gentle washing to retain the colour. Wash on a low heat with a gentle detergent and a fabric conditioner, like Comfort Sunshiny to preserve its brightness for longer.

And that’s it. It’s easy to cheer ‘Long Live Clothes!’ when you know that upcycling gives your clothes a new life.