|Recycling Clothing with No Sewing Skills Needed Fact Sheet from Ohio State|
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Recycling Clothing with No Sewing Skills Needed
HYG-5505-92Barbara H. Drake
When we think about recycling clothing, we often envision long hours at the sewing machine remaking garments. However, recycling need not require sewing skills or a huge time commitment. Through recombining, reusing in creative ways and accessorizing, we can continue to wear old favorites.
Evaluate clothes that have not been worn in a year or more. If the garments fit, are in good condition (not worn out or without permanent stains or damage) or are still in style, they may be candidates for recombining.
The idea is to look at your wardrobe in a fresh way. Recombining is simply rearranging wardrobe pieces and putting different items together. Separate "outfits," coordinates or suits. Try with other wardrobe pieces, recombining into new outfits. Try on these new combinations and see how they look. Accessorize them. If you like the look, write down the descriptions of the new outfits so you don't forget how the recycled pieces are to be used.
If you are stuck for ideas, look at fashion magazines. Today, a variety of colors, textures and fabrics combine for fashionable and exciting looks. Don't be afraid to experiment!
Put your creativity to work by inventing new ways to wear garments.
Here are some ideas:
Recycle men's/boy's clothes into women's/girl's clothes
Accessories provide a quick and inexpensive way to update an outfit, extending its wear. One way of doing this is through hosiery and shoes. Look at fashion magazines to determine proportion as it relates to leg color, shoe color and heel height. What is being shown? What is most flattering to you? Scarves, belts and jewelry are good items to collect. These items don't take much storage room and can be recycled into the wardrobe to add spark to an outfit. Consider purchasing an accessory which can add life to several recycled wardrobe pieces.
If All Else Fails
If the recycling ideas mentioned are not appropriate, you don't have sewing skills to remake the garment, but the garment is still in good condition, consider selling the item through used clothing consignment stores or donating the item to a charity. Take an income tax write-off for your donation by assigning a value to clothing items for what they would sell for at a thrift shop. Guidelines are attached to this fact sheet. For charitable contributions of non-cash items, such as clothes, you will need to complete the IRS form #8283 if the value of the items is over $500.00, but does not exceed $5,000.00.
Garments or other textile items that are no longer useable can also be donated to charitable organizations for textile recycling. These organizations sell unusable textiles to commercial recyclers who are able to recycle over 93 percent of textile materials into products such as wiping cloths, roofing materials, patio furniture, box spring padding, and automobile insulation. Some textiles, especially wool, can be recycled into new garments and blankets. Recycling is better than discarding textiles with the trash and having them deposited in landfills.
Depending on condition and original retail price:
Note: Check your local area concerning appraisal of used clothing. Prices may vary from one locale to another.
Smith, Joyce and Pitts, Norma. Revitalize Your Wardrobe - Recycling Clothes for the Family, Teaching Outline, Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Service, June 1983.
Weiland, Barbara and Wood, Leslie, Clothes Sense, Palmer Pletch Associates, 1983.
Also, see article on Recycling Clothing Using Your Sewing Skills