Every year, there's a long sigh as men look at Father's Day gifts they have no intention of using or even wanting. If the initial reaction isn't an eye roll, it's an appreciative smile while saying in their heads, "She meant well."
To be fair, some guys are difficult to shop for so it's easier to go for the everyday items, such as socks, ties, dress shirts or sports paraphernalia. But there comes a point when a man can only get a gift so many times before he daydreams about throwing it in the trash.
Before making that drastic leap of throwing away perfectly good clothes, shoes and other textiles, remember the number 85. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycling and composting prevented 85 million tons of material from being disposed of in 2010, an increase from 18 million tons in 1980. Excluding electronics and food waste, textiles are one of the easiest items to recycle or reuse (approximately 14.4 percent of clothing and footwear and 17.8 percent of items, such as sheets and pillowcases, were recovered from landfills in 2012).
Of course there's nothing wrong with donating to organizations that will reuse or recycle clothing, but what about trying to make better use of your own old (or new) textiles before then?
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Recycle dress shirts pt. 1
Call the NRA! Your guns have grown after that gym membership and that loose dress shirt is now too tight to wear. Why not cut the shirt up and repurpose it into a wine bottle holder?
Recycle dress shirts pt. 2
Maybe the dress shirt isn't something worth wearing or making into a wine bottle. But who needs handkerchiefs or eating bibs to be fashionable? Cut the shirt into either and use it in place of wasteful napkins. This way, the shirts you really like don't end up stained or damaged.
Recycle matching baby clothes
The crowd goes wild to see a father and daughter dress alike, but what if this isn't the kind of outfit you'd want to wear later? Check out the fabric on it. Baby clothes and dress clothes are usually pretty soft. Would this material work as a pillow case?
Recycle suit coats
Those snug dress pants may be out of style, but pay attention to the color combination. Would a needle, thread and a good pair of scissors help transition these pants into a cool cell phone case?
There are countless ways to recycle old jeans. Recycling jeans as tote bags, gloves, wallets and aprons are just a few ideas. For more crafty and superstitious consumers, cutting a pair of jeans up and creating a dreamcatcher is another creative idea.
Leather (or pleather) is an easy recycling product. Reuse leather as household drawer handles, bag handles, wallets or even laptop bags. If it starts off as one item and is no longer useful as that, cutting out patterns can easily reform leather into several other products (and for cheaper rates than leather stores charge).