Repurpose Your old T-Shirts

If you’re like me, you have a whole pile of old t-shirts in the back of your closet, at the bottom of a drawer, in the attic or in the basement.  If this is true, you probably don’t ever wear them.  It’s time to turn them into something else.








Cut off the sleeves and put fringe or flowers around the neck or at the bottom of the t-shirt.

Turn any colour of shirt into a funky scarf.

Or turn your favourite tee that no longer fits into an awesome tote.

Couture ‘Trashion’ by Harvey

‘Newspaper Dress’ Designed by Gary Harvey

           British designer Gary Harvey, a former creative director for Levi Strauss, is making a statement out of today’s culture with his extravagant ball gowns. After working for the jeans company for over five years, his inspiration began to shift to the “leftovers” of our society, forgotten and crumbling in secondhand shops and landfills. He used these materials, such as worn out laundry bags and trench coats to sculpt new ideas of what we can define as clothing.

During February of 2007, he constructed his first collection of nine “upcycled” (using wasted materials to create something of higher value) ball gowns to be featured in the Estethica exhibition during London’s Fashion Week. The event was a “hotspot for ethical fashion, founded on ecological and organic principles,” and has since grown in popularity as a leader in the ethical fashion industry.His latest creation, the Newspaper Dress, was constructed of 30 copies of the ‘Financial Times’ and upholds the principles of organic and safely recycled fabrics.

Harvey saw that many people “wear [something] one or two times then discard it because it’s suddenly deemed aesthetically unimportant and out of date when there’s years of life left in the garment.” He is now a freelance creative director and continues to influence the world of couture fashion by bringing social situations to light in his inspirational creations, such as the over consuming culture we have evolved into.  The vintage flair of his elegant dresses is evidence enough that what is undervalued by most people can be transformed into a masterpiece.

Photo: GaryHarvey Creative Direction

         Harvey’s contributions to the world of high fashion will truly “contribute to an ethical fashion revolution.” You can click on any of these pictures to learn more about the designer, dresses featured during London Fashion Week, or to seek your own inspiration for transforming trash into fashion!

MAC Dress; 18 trench coats incorporated around a ‘Burberry’ check corset.


Recycle Sweaters

Now that it’s getting colder and we’re pulling out our warmer clothing, I’m sure that there will be a few old sweater that no longer fit, are not in the best condition, or no longer are in style.  Here are just a few ideas  for things that you could make out of your old sweaters, repurposing them to make yourself something or even a gift for someone this holiday season.  You could start with stockings for your children, siblings, friends, or your whole family.

Then move on to a felted blanket from all of those wool sweaters to keep you warm when you don’t have time to make a fire.

Next: holiday gifts.  Everyone has that eccentric soul in their family, whether it be a niece, cousin, or friend; so why not make a multicoloured sweater to give as a gift?

Once it gets closer to the holidays, you can start to decorate.  So get started on a colourful wreath with your entire family to hang on the front door.  It would mean so much more than anything bought in a store, and it would be recycled!

Get Creative

Recycle Your Old Denim

Get Creative. 

There are so many things out there that you can make with your old denim, such as bags, blankets, headbands and necklaces such as this one. 

Don’t wait any longer.  Go make yourself something new out of your old jeans.

Paper Beads!

how to make paper beads

Step 1:  Gathering Your Supplies:  First, collect the following: a colourful page from your favourite magazine or catalog, scissors, pen, ruler, needle or toothpick, clear varnish, thread similar to the width of your needle or toothpick.

Step 2:  Cutting The Beads Out:  Cut triangles of your colourful magazine page that are 2 cm wide and go the entire length of the magazine page.  Use the ruler to make sure that the lines from the top to the point are straight.  Use your thin-tipped pen to outline the triangles if you want to be more precise.

Step 3:  Rolling the Beads:  Starting at the thickest end of the strip, roll the triangle tightly around either your needle or toothpick.  When you get to the end, add a dab of glue to hold the paper in place.

Step 4:  Varnish and Leave to Dry:  String your beads temporarily and coat them with two coats of varnish.  Let them dry for 2-3 days.

Step 5:  Time for Creating!  Now that your beads are dry, you can create your own beautiful, recycled accessories and jewelry for them for a very low cost.