Sustainable living

Sustainable clothing: Tips for upcycling old clothes

Leah Giblin, textile artist and costume maker, shares how to refresh a stained shirt, turn an old tee into a pillowcase and transform socks into heat packs.

Sustainable clothing: Tips for upcycling old clothes

If you think something’s ready for the bin, give it a transformation instead.

With a bit of inspiration, you can give clothes and fabrics a new life, saving you money and reducing textile waste.

Finding a stain on your favourite shirt doesn’t mean you need to get rid of it.

It’s the perfect opportunity to add more colour into your wardrobe using tie-dyeing techniques.

Is your drawer filled with odd socks? Turn them into lavender heat packs. If there’s a t-shirt you no longer wear, with a great print or colour, transform it into a pillowcase and prolong the life of the fabric for years to come.

Watch the rest of our Sustainable clothing series. Learn about fabric care and choice 101 and how to shop your wardrobe.

Learn more about our free clothes swaps. Swapping is a clever and thrifty way to update your wardrobe, save money and help fight textile waste.

Published 10 August 2022, updated 13 October 2023