Creative ways to reuse and upcycle

Updated: Jan 6, 2021



Blog by Sophie and Luca

Sustainable Merton Community Champions



As Sustainable Merton Community Champions, we are passionate about waste! We are always looking for new schemes and ideas to recycle items that are traditionally not collected as part of the kerbside recycling, to ensure that they stay out of landfill.


Here are five tricky-to-recycle items and some creative ways of reusing and upcycling them…


Old clothes


A public survey by WRAP suggests that 2 in 5 UK citizens had a clear-out during lockdown, with the majority of items being unwanted textiles including a predicted 67 million items of clothing! Whilst textile waste is not always covered by the doorstep collection, there are so many ways you can ensure it doesn’t go to landfill; via charity shops, textile banks, retail take-back schemes, or charity collection bags. Whichever method you choose, check that the service is open and help support them by never leaving bags of clothes in front of closed charity shops or full recycling banks.


Whilst charity shops are a great option as they have a variety of strategies for your donations, why not flex your creative muscles by trying to create something new out of your unloved items?


  • An old jumper with worn out elbows and cuffs could make a cozy cushion cover: watch how to do it here.

  • Or for a bigger project you could turn all your old t-shirts into a gorgeous rag rug for your home like this one.