3 Chic & Easy Ways to Upcycle Your Clothes

Earth Day is April 22nd and to honor this day I want to share with you three easy and fun ways you can take your old, unused or unwanted clothing and upcycle or turn it into something new!

t-shirt bag

1. Tee shirt tote bags
You probably have a ton of old tee shirts sitting in your drawers. You may be holding on to some of them for sentimental value or in hopes to one day wear again, but if its been a few years already it may be time to find other uses for your favorite tees. A tote bag is an easy and fun way to turn your old concert tee into a shopping, gym, grocery or beach bag! Here are easy to follow step by step instructions and if you want a no sewing required option then you can watch this easy video tutorial

lamp shades

2. Recover a lampshade
Giving your home a makeover doesn’t have to be costly and sometimes all you need is a few small changes to spruce things up. You can change the look of your lampshade by recovering it with a new fabric that can be found right in your own closet! You can use a dress, top or skirt in whatever print you would like to easily give your lampshade a new look. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

shirt to cardigan

3. Turn a top that’s too small into a cardigan
If you’re like me you probably hold onto pieces of clothing hoping to one day wear it again and then before you know it, it doesn’t fit you anymore! Now you can take those old tops and turn them into long or short sleeved cardigans with no sewing required!  This idea is also great for kids since they outgrow their clothing so quickly. You can find the instructions here.

If DIY (do it yourself) projects aren’t your thing then you can always donate your clothing to your local Goodwill. You are not only making a charitable contribution, but by donating your old garments you are helping to eliminate waste. Goodwill will offload clothes or shoes that are not suitable for sale at Goodwill stores to textile recyclers. Goodwill knows that its customers expect a certain level of quality clothing. In an effort to keep usable goods out of local landfills, these vendors either ship them to Third World countries where they are given a second life or sort and resell them to textile “de-manufacturers” who turn them into other usable materials such as insulation or industrial carpeting. At the end, all donations fund Goodwill programs to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. No waste is equal to financial support for Goodwill services – all contribute to help the community.

Forty-five percent of recycled clothes are sold to other countries, 30% are turned into cleaning rags and 25% are turned into fibers for stuffing insulation, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Association. So think twice before you decide what to do with your old clothing!

Find the nearest Goodwill Store to you here.


Nicole Colon is a lifestyle blogger and designer from Long Island, NY, who is reinventing what it means to be “bad” by empowering women to discover their inner B.A.D. Girl and be Beautiful, Authentic and Determined. She provides her readers with tips, advice and fashion that aim to inspire them to get what they want out of life. Check out Nicole’s blog at www.stylemebad.com

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

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