What to Do With Old Leggings: Creative Ideas for Repurposing and Recycling

Old leggings can be a nuisance, especially when they no longer fit or have holes. However, several ways exist to repurpose them instead of throwing them away. Whether for fashion or practical purposes, old leggings can be remade into something new and useful. If you have old leggings you no longer wear, you can repurpose or recycle them in several ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Cut them into shorts: If your leggings are still in good condition but no longer wear them as pants, you can cut them into shorts or capris for a fresh new look. Use scissors to cut the legs to the desired length and hem the edges if necessary.
  • Turn them into workout wear: Old leggings can make great, especially if made from moisture-wicking fabric. You can cut them into shorts, crop tops, or arm warmers for your next workout.
  • Use them as cleaning rags: Leggings can be repurposed for dusting or wiping surfaces. Cut them into smaller squares or strips and use them for various cleaning tasks around the house.
  • Donate them: If your old leggings are still in good condition, they should be donated to a local thrift store or clothing donation center. There may be individuals out there who could use them and would appreciate the gesture.
  • Recycle them: Many clothing retailers and textile recycling companies accept old clothing items, including leggings. Check with your local recycling center or clothing retailer if they offer textile recycling services.

Repurpose Them

Wait to throw away your old leggings! There are a bunch of ways to give them a new life. Here are a few ideas:

Turn Them Into Cleaning Rags

Based on experience, leggings can make great cleaning clothes! Cut them into smaller pieces to dust surfaces or clean up spills. They’re soft and won’t scratch delicate surfaces like wood or glass. Plus, they’re washable and reusable, so you’ll save money on paper towels and other disposable cleaning supplies.

Make Hair Ties or Headbands

Leggings can also be turned into hair ties or headbands. Cut them into thin strips and tie them into a knot to make a hair tie. Or, cut a wider strip and tie it around your head to make a headband. You can test diverse colors and patterns with your outfit.

Create a Braided Rug

If you have a lot of old leggings, consider making a braided rug. Make a braided rug by cutting and weaving strips of fabric together. It’s a fun DIY project with kids and adds personality to your decor.

Sew a Quilt or Blanket

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can turn your old leggings into a quilt or blanket. Then, cut them into squares or rectangles and sew them together to create a cozy and unique blanket. This is an excellent way to maintain memories of your favorite leggings or create a special gift for someone you love.

Donate Them

If you have leggings that are still in good condition but no longer fit or suit your style, consider donating them to someone who could use them. Several places accept gently used clothing, including thrift stores, women’s shelters, and homeless shelters.

Local Thrift Stores

Many thrift stores accept donations of gently used clothing, including leggings. These stores resell the items at a lower cost, providing affordable clothing options for those who cannot afford new items. Check with your local thrift stores to see if they accept leggings and their donation requirements.

Women’s Shelters

Confirming with GracesList Springfield, women’s shelters provide temporary housing for women who are escaping domestic violence or other dangerous situations. These shelters often accept clothing donations, including leggings, to provide residents with comfortable and practical clothing options. Contact your local women’s shelter to see if they accept clothing donations and what their specific needs are.

Homeless Shelters

Homeless shelters provide temporary housing and support services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. These shelters often accept clothing donations, including leggings, to provide their residents with warm and comfortable clothing options. In addition, you can contact your nearby homeless shelter to find out if they are open to receiving clothes donations and if they have any specific requirements.

Recycle Them

When leggings are no longer wearable, recycling them is a great way to keep them out of landfills. Here are a few options for recycling old leggings:

Check with Your Local Recycling Center

Many local recycling centers accept textiles, including leggings, for recycling. Check with your local recycling center to see if they accept textiles and their specific requirements. Some may require that the leggings be clean and dry, while others may accept them in any condition.

Mail Them to a Recycling Program

There are also recycling programs that accept textiles by mail. These programs typically require that the leggings be clean and dry and may have specific requirements for packaging and shipping. Some programs may also accept leggings that are still wearable, while others may only accept those that are no longer wearable. Check with the program to see what their specific requirements are.

Recycling old leggings is a great way to reduce waste and conserve resources. Preserving textiles and avoiding landfills are crucial to safeguard the environment and conserving natural resources for future generations.