Creating Happy Memories and Boosting Your Mental Health by Upcycling Clothes | Guest Post by Jane Sandwood

The average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of clothing each year due to the nature of fast fashion, the clothes no longer fitting, and the clothes having tears or holes. It can be upsetting to throw away or donate clothes — especially if they have memories connected to them, such as you bought them when you were on vacation or a loved one once told you how good it looked on you. Upcycling these clothes not only keeps them out of landfill but helps you to connect with your creative side, repurpose something you love, and build happy memories with others.

Upcycling clothes for happier times

Taking clothes that you once loved and upcycling those into something you can wear again can provide a great sense of achievement. It’s important to work with what you’ve got and start with something simple so that you don’t end up getting upset or frustrated with your project. Making a pocket belt is a good place to start and can be used for yourself or as a great gift for others.

Pocket belts are especially good to have for days out or when you want your hands free for festivals or outdoor activities. Creating them can help you to get into the right mindset for a great day out by doing something fun to prepare for it. You could also get your friends together who you’re planning to go to a festival with and all upcycle your old clothes and help each other to create new clothes and good memories in the process. Hopefully, you’ll feel good enough to be able to go to the festival or event you’ve planned, but even if you don’t you’ve still been involved in the process of getting ready for it so you won’t miss out completely.

Repurposing clothes into new items

Clothes can be repurposed into countless new things, from blankets and bags to hair accessories and purses. If you’re thinking about buying something made of fabric, see if you have some old clothes lying around that you could use to make it yourself. Produce bags and pillow covers are easy to make from old t-shirts, blankets can be made from decorative clothing cut up into squares and stitched together, and old pants or jeans are perfect for creating a draught excluder with. Whatever you make, it will have a real personal touch to it and can make great gifts for others, helping you to improve your self-worth and get you into a different, healthier headspace.

A boost for your mental health

Cutting fabric, sewing, and transforming it into something new is a really good form of mindfulness. It helps you to focus on what you’re doing, stopping your mind from wondering to darker places, which can really help with anxiety and depression symptoms. Upcycling can also be done with someone else, helping you to connect with others. This is something that can feel difficult if you’re depressed, so it’s important to find hobbies that you enjoy that can keep you socializing with others. There’s also a sense of achievement, particularly when you’re upcycling clothes that have sentimental value and repurposing them into something that you can continue wearing or using.

Upcycling and repurposing clothes is an ideal way to improve your mental health. You can create happy memories with others, transform something old into something treasured again, and it allows you to focus on the task at hand, taking you away from faulty thinking patterns that can cause anxiety and depression.