Posted on: July 11, 2022 Posted by: AKDSEO Comments: 0

Do you have a closet full of clothes you never wear? Perhaps you love thrifting but don’t need to further expand your wardrobe. Or maybe you have surplus materials from your own boutique? Rather than giving it away, selling the clothes on the cheap or tossing your closet cleanout in the garbage, why not upcycle clothes, transforming the garments into trendy new fashions?

What is Upcycled Clothing?

Also known as creative reuse, upcycling is the process of giving a worn item a makeover, transforming it into a new and even higher-quality selection. Upcycled clothes can consist of sprucing up a garment, recycling it and giving it a new style. It also can refer to using parts of fabrics to create an entirely different garment. For example, a pair of old jeans could be painted into an upcycled pair of jeans, or they could be dismantled and remade into a denim quilt. There are many opportunities if you want to know how to start an upcycling business.

Why Upcycling Clothes is the Next Big Thing in the Apparel Industry

If you are looking to learn how to start a clothing business, this is not the exact same thing. Upcycling clothes is the next big thing in the world of apparel. Fashionistas love to give old fashions a new lease on life, upcycle clothes and create trendy, eco-friendly fashions. They also love wearing one-of-a-kind upcycled garments. It’s no wonder upcycling clothes is such an increasingly popular fashion trend.

The fashion industry is not friendly to the environment. As consumers grow ever more environmentally conscious, upcycling surplus clothing has surged in popularity. The fashion industry is notorious for fast fashion, where trendy items are mass produced quickly and inexpensively, resulting in poor quality and a high environmental impact.

Rather than sending enormous amounts to the landfill, the fashions are revived by upcycling them into new dresses, skirts, jackets and fashion accessories. Plus, by upcycling their own used clothing into new garments, fashion lovers can expand their wardrobes while reducing their carbon footprints by wearing sustainable fashion. And if your in it for a business, a good place to start is how to sell on Amazon Handmade.

What Can You Make Out of Old Clothes?

What can you make out of old clothes? What can’t you make out of old clothes? You can upcycle clothes into new styles of the originals, or they can be transformed into something else entirely.

For example, you can apply paint or embroidery to an old jacket to create an updated version of the original, or you can reconstruct the vintage jacket to craft a duffel bag. Old clothes become new clothes. Dresses become shirts, pants become scarves, and plain old cotton t-shirts be transformed into trendy and fashionable tops.

Some upcycled fashion accessories even are made from recycled trinkets, tools or trash. Could you imagine earings made from recycled plastic bottles? It’s been done! With so many options, it’s not hard to envision a small business specializing in nothing more than upcycled fashions. A talented upcycled even could launch their own brand. The key is finding where to sell handmade items locally or online.

14 Project Ideas for Upcycling Clothes

Want to revitalize your wardrobe by upcycling old clothes? If you have a talent for recycling old garments into refreshed and repurposed fashions and accessories, you can sell the projects online or at local marketplaces. A successful upcycler even could launch a boutique of recycled fashion creations. While you are at make sure to look into how to start a small business on Etsy to sell your creations.

Looking for some fresh ideas to transform old clothes into an upcycled fashion line? The following 15 project ideas for upcycling clothes should set you on your way:

1. Upcycle T-Shirts

image: WobiSobi
One of the most common ways to upcycle a t-shirt is to paint a plain tee or add embellishments like rhinestones or lace. T-shirts, however, are incredibly versatile, and with basic sewing skills an upcycler can convert a cotton t-shirt into a stylish and trendy blouse like the one pictured above. Tshirts also can be disassembled, and the fabric can be used to make DIY pillows, blankets and other crafts.

2. Upcycle Shirts

image: Swoodson Says
What can you do with an old dress shirt? Do you, your spouse or a parent have a slew of button-down shirts hanging in the closet? Can they be worn as anything but a dress shirt? Dress shirts can be upcycled into a variety of other garments. A large button-down shirt can become a dress, or a shirt can be flipped into a blouse with the buttons down the back, as pictured above. Tired of white shirts? Cotton shirts can be dyed into whatever color you prefer!

3. Upcycle Flannel Shirts

image: The Art of Doing Stuff
Old flannel shirts are often recycled since people tend to wear them and rewear them forever. But used flannels also can be upcycled and given a stylish twist. An upcycled flannel might raise the hem and alter the sleeves to become a stylish blouse. Or, an old flannel shirt can be reconstructed into a new life as a plaid duffel bag, as seen in the image above.

4. Upcycle Sweatshirts

image: Dream a Little Bigger
Who hasn’t had some ratty old sweatshirts that have seen better days? Instead of tossing them out, upcycle the used clothing into fashionable garments. With some basic sewing skills, a couple of buttons and just a scrap of new fabric, you can transform an old sweatshirt into a unique and stylish cardigan, like the one seen above.

5. Upcycle Sweaters

image: Find It Make It Love It