A Green Home: Repurposed Clothing and Accessories

| 1/10/2011 10:52:42 AM

Jaci KennisonJaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.

When it comes to sustainable fashion, often the reuse side of the triangle gets all the attention. We look at reducing our footprint by purchasing new products made in sustainable ways and with sustainable materials, or we buy used.

There are a plethora of secondhand and vintage boutiques popping up all over the country now as we seek to shrink our expenses and our environmental footprints. Another new trend is also peeking over the edges of the environmentally responsible fashion horizon—repurposed clothing.

With a pair of scissors and a sewing machine (or a friend with these tools), a variety of clothing items can be re-made into something trendy, inexpensive and sustainable.

Men’s shirts are a simple way to get started. Find a high quality, minimally worn one at your favorite secondhand store. Choose one that will fall to the length you want—just above or below the knee is generally most flattering. Take it home and put it on inside out. Make a small mark on the top seam of the shirt where it starts to fall off your shoulder. Cut the sleeves off the shirt about an inch out from your mark and them seam them. Draw the waist in with a great belt. Worn with tights, boots and a poncho style sweater this is a trendy, chic fashion that is easy on the earth.

A more traditional take on this idea is the classic pants-into-skirts and T-shirts-into-tank tops. Super long T-shirts can act as a dress as well. If it’s shorter than you would like, attach a wide piece of lace or other material to the bottom. Cut off the arms for a sheath-dress-style frock. 

7/17/2014 10:52:09 AM

After reading your post a lot of interesting ideas came into my mind because I have a lot of old clothes that can be converted into something elegant. I will try to surprise my wife by combining some of the http://www.angryyoungandpoor.com/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=344 I have with her old clothes, I bet she will like this.

6/24/2014 3:45:23 AM

The sustainable fashion tips you presented are awesome, actually you gave me a couple of ideas that I will try to put into practice after my husband will repair the sewing machine. I have some clothes bought from http://www.twopurplepandas.com/ and will try to create something unique, are there some websites where I could find more info about sustainable fashion?