Sustainability

How to recycle your old clothes

Ever wondered what to do with worn-out and used clothing? Looking to recycle old clothes? While the first inclination can be to throw away or at least donate old clothing, there are ways to recycle t-shirts and other clothes into new things you can wear yourself or even into handy tools you can use around the home. Let’s find out how.

4 ways to recycle old clothes into something new

You can repurpose old clothing in a number of creative ways. Here are three ideas to get you started:

  1. Boost your cleaning supplies!

The number one area that comes to mind when thinking about how to recycle old clothes into something new would be to create cleaning supplies such as towels and rags. If you’re looking to recycle t-shirts you no longer wear then cut them into strips and use them to polish surfaces with. Make sure you cut off any embellishments such as buttons, zips, or decoration as this may scratch your surfaces.

  1. Recycle old clothes into insulation!

Old clothes can be used around the house long after you’ve stopped wearing them. If you have a draught coming through a window or doorframe and cannot afford to replace it or invest in insulation then try stuffing a thick fabric in the crevice as a temporary solution

  1. Recycle old t-shirts into new clothes

Got old t-shirts you no longer wear or looking for recycled dress ideas? Why not turn them into new clothes! This process can be as easy or complicated as you like, depending on your skill level. Easy ideas include turning long t-shirts into superhero capes for the kids. Just cut off the sleeves and then cut down the back of the top. Turn over the ends and sew to create a seam and snip through the collar so that it can be tied on and unfastened easily.

  1. Recycled dress ideas: make placemats

For longer items of clothing – like dresses or sarees – you may not be able to make them into clothes so easily but not want to waste the pretty materials on cleaning rags or insulation. Instead, try making your own placemats. Simply cut the fabric into strips and sew a few of them together, end on end, to make a long ribbon. Next, sew three ribbons together at one end and plait them. Once you have your completed plait, arrange it in a circular design, sewing it together as you go so that it holds it shape.

And there you have it – 4 simple ideas to help you recycle old clothes into something new! With these recycle old clothes ideas, you can help you save the environment as well as giving you more wear out of your old fabrics. So, next time you are looking for a cleaning towel, some temporary insulation, or want a new piece of clothing, just look through your wardrobe!

Key steps:

  • Don’t throw or donate old clothes – store them up for craft projects
  • Recycle old clothes into rags by cutting them into strips and removing embellishments
  • Stuff thicker fabrics into gaps to act as temporary insulation against draughts
  • Make personalised placemats by sewing plaited fabric together in a circular shape
  • Recycle old t-shirts into new clothes by making a cape for your kids

Top tip


Old and worn out clothing can be your number one source for hand rags around the house, but they can also be turned into new clothes! Recycle old clothes into cushion covers, scarves, and other accessories.