Reused dress.Photo: Grist reader Alyce SantoroThey say clothes make the man, but what happens when that man throws away his clothes? The EPA estimates that Americans individually throw out more than 68 pounds of clothing every year. Fortunately, there’s been a growing movement to mend our ways. This month, Umbra schooled us about recycling our fabrics, and some companies are working to reduce waste by making new fabrics out of recycled materials like plastic bottles or old denim.

We like to call refashioning your wardrobe, “re-usey couture.” And this month, we asked Grist readers to submit photos of their own reused clothing on Facebook. Here are a few of our favorite submissions as part of a special advertising feature brought to you by the eco-friendly people at Polartec.

Miss out on our Facebook call for submissions? Show off your re-usey couture creations in the comment section below!

Sounds like a great look

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“This is a dress made from the first two yards of sonic fabric ever woven — half of the tapes were interwoven with a beige cotton warp thread, and half with a black cotton warp thread to create two different colored fabrics,” said the rocking Alyce Santoro of her creation above.


SkirtPhoto: Grist reader Karyn Moreland HinzA piece that tie-dyes it all together

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“Here’s a recycled skirt I made last summer — the fabric is from two long-sleeved tie-dyed t-shirts that were no longer being worn by anyone in my family. The skirt is now one of my frequently-worn favorites — I’m even wearing it today!” said Karyn Moreland Hinz of her to-dye-for skirt.


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Reused kimonoPhoto: Jennifer Thorpe PalloKimono-so-cute

“I made a kimono for my 2 year old daughter from my husband’s t-shirt (constellations and the stars glow in the dark) and lined with old flannel sheet,” said star sewer Jenna Thorpe Pallo.










SweaterPhoto: Grist reader Jenna JadeSweatering the small stuff

“Old wool sweaters, felted and remade into new sweaters,” described Jenna Jade of her heart-felt creation.














Reused chairs.Photo:Grist reader Carey EvensonCovering your butt

Grist reader Carey Evenson described her project: “I re-used a few old sweaters and turned them into cozy autumn covers for our kitchen chairs last night! They are soft and warm and look great!” That sits well with us!





Reused dress.Photo: Rachel WrightRe-casting call

“This is a dress I made for a design competition called “Worn Again II”: we were given a bag full of cast-off material and clothes and 2 weeks to make something from it,” said Rachel Wright. We think Wright got those stylish straps just right!