5 Ways to Upcycle Your Clothes

Many people are familiar with the term recycling, but not many are familiar with the term upcycling. Upcycling is a form of reusing something in a way that doesn’t require breaking it down or destroying it. Recycling usually requires that a product is broken down into a non-recognizable form to be made into something new.

Here at Goodwill, we’re all about upcycling within our stores. We believe in giving a piece of clothing or furniture new life by selling it to you at a discounted price. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say. Upcycling is easy! All you need is a vision and some creative inspiration. Here are five ways to upcycle your clothes from Goodwill.   

  • Add an embellishment.

One way to give an item of clothing new life is to add some sort of embellishment to it. Add a patch or brooch to a jean jacket. Glue on or clip on some bling to make a basic shoe perfect for a cocktail party. Plus, sewing on decals and patches can make an item look vintage.  

  • Cut to a new length.

If you find a pair of pants that fit great everywhere except the length, consider cutting them off to achieve the length you want. This can be done to turn pants into shorts or a long skirt into a short one. One trend we’re seeing is crop sweatshirts, which can easily be done by cutting off a sweatshirt you find at Goodwill.

  • Wear in a new way.

One thing we know for sure about fashionistas is that they’re creative. Wearing an oversized men’s dress shirt as a skirt? So cute! Wearing a dress as a tunic over jeans? Love it! Wearing an item in a new way is a form of upcycling because you’re using it in a different way than it was intended.

  • Dye a new color.

Remember making tie-dye shirts in elementary school? You can do that with your clothes now, too! Using a stencil and some dye, you can add a new logo or quote to a plain shirt. Or add some character to a pair of pants by dipping the ends in some bleach.

  • Cross over styles.

Creating your own style trends is way more fun than following other trends, don’t you think? You can wear a conservative top even if you tend to wear more bohemian styles. That’s the beauty of fashion. Wear something that’s out of your style comfort zone as a form of upcycling your clothes.

When you shop at Goodwill for clothes, you’re upcycling by honoring the former life of the item in a new way. Adding your own touch through embellishments, dye, or sheer creativity will truly give your clothing a new life.

Did you know that whatever we can’t sell at our stores, we recycle? It’s true. Learn more about how your shopping and donations make a difference in the community.

Exciting Events this Week!

Amazing things are always happening at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona! Whether you are looking for a daily special or want to participate in one of our job training events, we have something for you.

*Daily deals are valid at select Metro Phoenix, Prescott, and Yuma locations. Please check with your neighborhood Goodwill for details. Dollar Day pricing adjustment goes into effect on Jan. 5, 2023.

Discount valid on used merchandise only. Not valid on food or drink, new goods, seasonal or holiday items. Not valid at Goodwill Clearance Center.