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4 fun ways to upcycle old clothes |

Health And Family

4 fun ways to upcycle old clothes

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez -

Most, if not all, of us know the importance of being “green,” i.e. being environmentally conscious and friendly. We pray for a “greener” world, and know that the solution partly lies with us, in our very own homes.

We seek ways to reduce, reuse and recycle items, hoping to make an impact on our world. In some instances, we even “upcycle” things. According to Wikipedia, upcycling is “the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.”

Some of the items we have at home that can be reused or – better yet – upcycled are old clothes. Sure, you can always bag them up and give them away but if you’re looking to go one step further, here are a few suggestions:

1. Make a memory quilt.

If you have old baby or kids’ clothes that you just can’t part ways with, consider converting them into a quilt. Ask a trusted seamstress to help you out if you have limited sewing skills. Memory quilts like these can even be passed on from generation to generation.

2. Create reusable shopping bags.


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Convert old t-shirts into reusable bags that you can use while shopping for groceries or other items. There are online tutorials that can teach you to do so, like this one. You can even take this idea one step further and consider giving the bags away to family members and friends.

3. Make rag rugs.

Search the Internet for tutorials on how to snip old clothes and thread them together to make foot rugs. Again, you can even consider giving these away or – if they’re colorful and “cute” enough – selling them to others!

4. Participate in upcycling campaigns.

If you’re not the DIY-type or simply don’t have the time to upcycle your old clothes at home, you can still do your part by joining upcycling campaigns.

One such campaign is H&M’s “Close the Loop,” which was launched at KidZania Manila last month. The campaign encourages kids and adults alike to reduce waste by upcycling unwanted or old clothes. 

At the launch, kids donated old shirts and learned how they are turned into new garments – how they are reused, recycled, and even turned into energy! The Upcycling Workshop – the main event – also gave the kids an opportunity to be part of the upcycling process: they created bracelets out of materials that came from old shirts.

Kid visitors to KidZania Manila can participate in the “Close the Loop” Upcycling Workshop until June 15. They can then present their upcycled bracelets at any H&M store to avail of a discount on any item.

If you can’t visit KidZania Manila though, you can still join the “Close the Loop” upcycling campaign just by bringing your old and/or unwanted clothes to an H&M store. (The bonus? You get 15 percent off your next purchase!)

Can you think of other ways to upcycle old or unwanted clothes? Please feel free to share them in the comments, or get in touch with me here.

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