Clothes are one of the biggest expenses in our lives, and, unfortunately, one of the biggest pollutants on the planet. Fast fashion dominates our high streets, creating what can seem like sky high landfills full of clothes that have only been worn a handful of times. That's why recycling in this area is so important. If you don't love it anymore, the chances are that someone else will - whether it's a friend or a stranger in a charity shop.
To put the current problem into context, the amount of textile waste in the US has doubled in the past twenty years, The Balance Small Business reports. Now, it's a staggering 15 million tonnes per anum.
But before you consider your recycling options for your old clothes, take a moment to consider their potential for upcycling (AKA having new life breathed into them) with these nine simply DIY updates!
1. Shorten a long skirt
While this might not seem like much of a DIY, as the pictures above demonstrate, it can do wonders for an old piece which you've grown tired of. This can work with various other items of clothing too, like dresses and pants. This video provides a simple step-by-step tutorial that's guaranteed to make your hemming project a winner.
2. Buttons - there's so much you can do with them
You'd be shocked at how much new life a new set of buttons can breathe into what you consider an "old" piece of clothing. It doesn't matter if it's a skirt, coat, or something else entirely - they can make it look like new.
3. Alter your old jeans and make them fit again!
If you've gone on a weight loss journey and been successful, huzzah! And don't worry about having to buy a totally new wardrobe, either. Simply create a "dart" using this video and alter them to suit your new size.
4. Add a slit into a long skirt
There are some items of clothing which are timeless, but even then, there's a limit to how often you'll be willing to wear the same thing. However, if they have a simple design like the long skirt shown above, they can be customized with a simple slit and transformed completely.
5. Alter a crew neck into a v neck
Like I've said, sometimes a small change can make a big difference to a simple item of clothing. So if you're tired of wearing shirts with crew necks, follow the tutorial above to make them look like different shirts entirely.
6. Turn your old t-shirt into a headband
This is a great hack if you've got teens. It'll simultaneously give them something new to wear and show them how advantageous recycling can be. All you need to do is follow this simple tutorial and voilà!
7. Transform a t-shirt into a strappy singlet
To make a strappy singlet, simply cut the top and the bottom of the shirt off. Then, with the remaining fabric, form straps that you can attach to what's left. A step-by-step guide can be found here.
8. Cut a t-shirt into an off-the-shoulder top
While we all need t-shirts to a certain extent, they aren't always fashionable, especially if they, as mentioned before, are plain looking. However, with the right DIY knowledge, you can easily transform them into a real look. This video tutorial explains how you can turn that fabric into an enviable DIY piece!
9. Customize a boring shirt with a zipper
But you don't necessarily have to show some flesh to breathe new life into an old t-shirt. You can transform it entirely with the addition of a zipper. Just like the button DIY, this can have dramatic results. Don't worry if you've never attached a zipper to a piece of clothing before either; this video contains everything you need to know.
So, the next time you're tempted to buy yet another fast fashion item on the high street, you might want to think about your bulging wardrobe at home. It's more than likely that with the right DIY, you've got a new outfit in there. Upcycling is, after all, not just good for the environment but for your bank balance too!