Getting rid of old clothes can be difficult. It is not any easier even when your wardrobe or closet is bursting at the seams and you know for a fact you cannot go through all of the clothes even if you wanted to.

Selling them to secondhand dealers is a great way to make some extra cash, or you could just give them to charity. But if you have an attachment to some of them, making it too hard to let go or they are not in good enough shape to sell or donate, then you should look into upcycling.

One great thing about upcycling is that you are free to create, and the more creative you are, the better. Upcycling clothes creatively transforms what you already own in order to reduce waste.

It saves you money and allows you to hands-on create your own unique style. Also, creating a more sustainable closet contributes towards the environmental protection goals of the United Nations.

An old sweater can be easily transformed with a little imagination. Those jeans you haven’t worn in years are just begging to be touched with some magic. That pair of shoes at the bottom of the closet needs some attention. A little creativity can turn your wardrobe around.

In upcycling, you can employ and include any and every material available to you that your imagination can use. There are many ways to go about upcycling, and here are 5 Afrocentric ways of recycling old clothes.

Patching tears with African prints

Maybe your favourite pair of jeans is worn out or ripped or maybe your favourite monochrome dress or shirt is torn and you are just not willing to let it go. You don’t have to stress much; just patch it up with African print. Find a print that appeals to you in the case of the jeans, or one that agrees with the colour of the shirt or dress, and fix it by following the instructions in the video above.

Replacing pockets and collars with African print

One part of shirts that is easily affected by tear and wear is the collar. Or maybe you want to do something different on your button-down shirt. Replacing the collar and/or the cuffs and pockets with African print is one sure way to turn it around.

Customizing T-shirts with prints

One sure way to upcycle your old t-shirts is getting creative on them with African prints. You can replace the sleeves with African print; you can turn them into shirt-dresses by attaching the prints to the bottom or you could just draw patterns on them with pieces of fabric. The possibilities are endless.

Putting cowries and beads on clothing

Nothing screams ‘African’ than beads and cowries, and there is an amazing way of using these things to give your old clothing a new look. Glueing or sewing beads and cowries to clothes and shoes will definitely give your imagination space to run wild and give the clothes and shoes an Afrocentric feel.

Covering shoes in print

Give your shoes a fresh kick by covering parts of it (or all of it) in African print. Whether it is leather or the typical mesh fabric in sneakers, a touch of African print is guaranteed to make it pop and light your whole wardrobe up.

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