Creative upcycling ideas for that old sweater

In a climate-changed world, it has never been more pressing for all of us to consume less, reuse what we have and recycle items when they can no longer serve their purpose.

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The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that every second, a truckload of discarded textiles is incinerated or sent to landfill. So, what should we do with old clothing that we can no longer use? How can we continue to get joy from items that no longer serve their original purpose? Here are some creative and unusual upcycling ideas for old sweaters

Make yarn

If you have an old woollen or wool blend sweater, believe it or not, depending on how it has been stitched, you can turn it back into yarn! That means you can turn your sweater into virtually anything.

It’s not very difficult, and there are many YouTube videos that can give you blow-by-blow tutorials on how to do this without damaging the yarn. The yarn can be used by itself or mixed in with others from pre-made kits such as the crochet blanket kits available from retailers like

Dog clothes

Clothes swapping may be a no-brainer when it comes to sustainable living, but depending on the size of your dog, he or she can be rocking your favourite jumpers after you no longer need them. Many dog breeds, and some cat breeds too, benefit from extra warmth in the cooler months and these tiny sweaters are quick and easy to make. You can even customise them for your furry friend.

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Laptop sleeves

Laptop sleeves are a smart way to protect your high-value goods if taking them out and about. They are easy to make and a great way to recycle old sweaters.

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