Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Your Wardrobe

If you're like me, your closet is literally overflowing with so many clothes, you don't know what to do with them all. It can be hard to just get rid of some clothing items; what if you end up needing them in the future, or a certain style becomes trendy again? Sure, some things in our closets really do need to go, but there are ways to reuse, repurpose, and recreate clothing to make it like new! I'm a huge fan of recycling clothing because it saves me money, and helps the environment. So after you take the super outdated garments in your wardrobe to Goodwill, here are some tips on what to do with the other stuff you don't wear much, but just can't bring yourself to get rid of:

1. Bandanas for Everything: Remember in kindergarten when you'd tie a bandana around your head and put your hair in braids? We've also seen a recent trend of girls rolling the bandana, tying a knot at the top, and using it as a headband. Believe it or not, holding your hair back isn't all this classic accessory is good for. Neckties are trending big right now, and a bandana is the the perfect, cheap accessory to achieve that look. Bandanas can also be tied and knotted around the wrist to create a statement bracelet, and are even beginning to be used to accent bags in street style.

Wrapped Twice
Wrapped Once
The perfect pop of color for a neutral outfit...
...Or a neutral bag!

2. Patches and Embroidery: This is a HUGE trend for Spring 2017, and it's super easy to create yourself! It can work with almost any clothing item, but I personally love adding these details to old denim garments, like jeans, a denim jacket, or denim skirt. Patches are growing in popularity, and aren't too hard to find at a cheap price (I got mine at H&M, but I have also seen them at Francesca's, Urban Outfitters, and Free People). If you get the iron-on patches, the application is quick and simple. Embroidery is a more time-consuming alternative, but if you enjoy it, I say go for it! It's super trendy, and typically creates an original, one-of-a-kind look. Either way, adding details to your denim is a fun, easy technique to create a unique style of your own.

I already had holes in my jeans, but adding destruction along with your patches or embroidery can add  even more detail.

3. Dying Techniques: If you've got a piece of clothing you don't like the color of, but still love the style, tie dye is the perfect solution (it's also perfect if you've got a white garment with lots of stains you want to cover up)! All you've gotta do is buy a tie dye kit from the store and follow the directions. You can also tie dye with bleach on dark colors; it works great to cover up a bleach stain while creating a fun, edgy look. When used on a black garment this technique incorporates the black with brown trend effortlessly. For a nature-friendly alternative to store-bought dye, and for dying techniques, check Pinterest for more options.

Before- The top had some bleach stains.
After- I tied a knot in the front and rolled my sleeves to add a little more character.

4. Cutting T-shirts: T-shirts can be some of the hardest clothing items to get rid of; they often commemorate events or organizations that are special to us. Luckily, there are nearly endless possibilities when it comes to cutting t-shirts into new styles. I had two of the same shirt, so I created two different looks! Pinterest has more fun ideas.

Style #1

Style #2

5. Classic Cut-offs: Cut-off denim shorts are a common up-cycling technique for old jeans, probably because they never disappoint! All you have to do is cut your old jeans to the length you want, and add any details your heart desires. A boxcutter works great for adding destruction, and fun additions like no-sew studs and rhinestones can be found at craft stores like Jo-Ann.


Up-cycling clothes is a fun, eco-friendly way to save money and create your own unique style; don't be afraid to mix these techniques to make your clothing completely your own!

Written by Grace Anderson


  1. Love it!! Great tips for the T-shirts that no one EVER wants to get rid of.


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