Green Goes Simple

Turn Your Old Clothes Into Something New

Every season I make sure to do a closet cleanout -- out with the old and in with the new, as they sa...

Every season, I make sure to do a closet cleanout -- out with the old and in with the new, as they say. But why not take the old and make it new again? It would save me money, plus it’d be a greener approach to my seasonal purge. For guidance, I turned to Alexandra Sinderbrand, who blogs about “sustainable alternatives for modern materialists.”

“I’m really into sustainability now, but you don’t start to care until you find a way to work it into your life,” says Sinderbrand. “The benefit of DIY clothing isn’t just that it’s green, but it’s unique and creative and inexpensive.”

Sinderbrand suggests investing in a few inexpensive materials -- buttons, buckles, sequins and a glue gun -- to breathe new life into dying garments. Got a white work shirt that’s in great shape, minus a few sweat stains? Cut off the sleeves and cinch the back, and you’ve got flattering casual wear. Did the laundry machine rip holes in your daughter’s leggings? Cover the evidence with plain silver studs (a studding tool will run you about $8), and she’s ready to go.

If your upcycling projects leave you with lots of excess fabric, there are options for the scraps: “Some stores take fabric donations,” says Sinderbrand. “But I’m very fond of making pillowcases out of leftover fabric. I’ll cut up a pair of damaged tights and use the material to tie the corners of pillowcases.” Now even your bed can go from old to new!



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