Saturday, December 2, 2023
Style and Beauty

Choose Sustainable Fashion

By Mrinalini Sundar, 31 Mar, 2020
  • Choose Sustainable Fashion

DIY methods to recycle, reuse & repurpose fashion.

The one fashion buzzword that was born in 2019 and has become louder in 2020 is ‘sustainable fashion’. Designers across the globe have all in their own way taken efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Stella McCartney’s Spring Summer ‘19 collection was all about using natural fibers like organic cotton, sustainable linen, and viscose in their designs. Burberry is trying to go carbon neutral and has also said no to fur.

Designer JW Anderson decided to reduce the number of collections he makes and is working extensively with custom-weaves, embroidery, and trims. Eco-friendly designer Vin+Omi makes vegan, eco-friendly, and upcycled clothes. Product designer Kriti Tula of Doodlage uses fabrics that are sourced from left-over discarded textiles from large manufacturers and fabrics that are left unused by retailers post cutting. How can you jump on this bandwagon? Here are a few DIY ways to repurpose, reuse, and recycle fashion.

Swap your clothes

What we mean is swap your clothes with a friend or a family member. Bring 5-10 clothes each and exchange them amongst yourselves. This way you are walking out with a new wardrobe and at the same time saving money and are not investing again on clothes. Another way to go about is to repeat clothes just like actress and legend Jane Fonda. She recycled a crimson beaded Elie Saab gown she previously wore to Cannes in 2014 for the Academy Awards.

Patch it up

A little patchwork, embroidery, sewing can give that old denim jacket a new look. All these tips and tricks are online that will give you the right direction. We know what it feels like to be emotionally attached to a T-shirt even if it is not in great condition. So instead of discarding them meaninglessly, mend them and reuse it.

Buy sustainable brands

There are several high street brands out there that support sustainable fashion. Buy from these brands. Even American actress Kaitlyn Dever wore a red dress made from eco-responsible silk satin with Swarovski crystals and beads. It gets better. She wore $47 red platform heels by Aldo, a climate-neutral brand for the Academy Awards.

Recycling programs

Every city has a textile recycling program or organizations that do just recycling. If you have clothes that have holes in them, that cannot be used but the fabric is still intact, then donate it at a recycling organization. Check out organizations like Canada Fibers Ltd., Eco Canada Textile Recycling Inc, Nano Textiles Inc, Recycling Alternative, and Our Social Fabric that will help recycle your old clothes for something new.


Several brands, influencers, as well as designers are reselling clothes on their social media accounts. If you have any clothes that are newly bought, that have not been worn several times, or are not fitting you — sell them on your social media accounts. You could also sign up at sites like Tradesy or thredUP that will do the selling for you. Ship the piece and get paid. Woohoo!


The easiest thing to do is to donate clothes to retailers for a discount. The North Face, Levi’s, H&M, Madewell, and Kiehl’s are a few brands that take your old clothes for a discount. This give and take can help you feel guilt-free.

11 easy ideas to reuse clothing:

1 Collect all your unused T-shirts, sew them together and make yourself a bedsheet.

2 A little needle and thread work can alter an old shirt into a cushion cover.

3 Have an oversized T-shirt? Create a wrap dress out of it with six easy sewing tips.

4 Turn that stretched shirt into a headband.

5 Have an old non-usable shirt? Repurpose it into a wipe or a tissue. You could also use it to clean your kitchen.

6 Cut out a piece from an old cotton shirt and change it into a makeup removal cloth.

7 Convert that front shirt pocket into a coin pouch.

8 Remodel that nightshirt into shorts before dumping it in the bin.

9 Sew your old shirt into a onesie for the little champ.

10 Your clothes can be converted into a lot of things for babies — accessories, clothes, napkins, frocks and shorts.

11 Transform those unused clothes into cell phone covers, tea coasters, pouches, and other knick-knacks.

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