7 Ways to Upcycle & Recycle Old T-Shirts — The Honest Consumer



Make Tote Bags

This is another great way to repurpose your favorite graphic tees! This can be a great bag to take to the grocery store or your local farmers market. If you’re looking for a visual step by step guide check out this guide. There are also new sew options!

  • First step is to find a t-shirt you want to make into a tote bag.

  • Next cut two equal size squares to sew together to create the sides of the bag.

  • Then use scrap fabric from the shirts sleeve or ends to sew the handles.

Have fun experimenting with different ways to repurpose your t-shirts and create pieces! Have fun with it and make them your own! Whatever you do, enjoy your new upcycled clothing item.

Clothing Recycle Programs

If you’re not the DIY type of person or if your clothing isn’t in good condition to be up-cycled into new clothes, here are some places that will take your old t-shirts and recycle them responsibly.

However, if your clothes are still in decent condition you can donate your old garments to thrift stores or homeless shelters.

Just be sure to do your research and make sure the organization you donate to will actually use the clothes. Unfortunately, a lot of donated clothing still ends up in landfills.

For Days Old Clothing Recycling

For Days Take Back Bags allow consumers to quickly clean out their closets in exchange for a store credit. For Days accepts clothing from any brands The products are sorted and then sent to their recycling partner.

Those partners resell what could have a second life and then the remaining materials for recycling into rags or shoddy.

Marine Layer’s T-Shirts Made from Recycled Tees

Marine Layer’s Re Spun program converts your old t-shirts into brand new textiles. Promoting a circular economy and preventing unnecessary landfill waste, their ReSpun textiles are made with 30% to 100% recycled material. Now that’s a project we can get behind.

Select retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters, Eileen Fisher, and Madewell will take back some of their own garments to recycle. It’s worth asking retailers if they have any form of recycling program for their clothes.

Hopefully this guide has given you some creative ideas on how you can repurpose the old t-shirts in the back of your closet to give them new life. There are plenty of options to repurpose your favorite tee or dispose of it responsibly.



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