I tried upcycling a T-shirt into a no-sew shopping bag

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Extending the life of your clothes is an easy way to reduce your consumption. I set out to to see how far one preloved black T-shirt could take me.

I tried upcycling a T-shirt into a no-sew shopping bag
Fashion trends change, body shapes change, and like us, our clothing is subject to wear and tear. Your favourite outfit sadly won’t last forever – and those clothes you donated ¬– even they end up somewhere when they’re no longer wearable. The place old clothes usually go to die is the landfill. Here, the fibres break down, releasing greenhouse gases and other air pollutants as they do. Bummer, right?

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. There are quite a few things that can be done, like repairing or upcycling your textiles to extend their life for as long as possible, thereby reducing your consumption. On that note, I tried to see just how far one preloved, faded and stretched trusty black T-shirt could take me. I turned to Pinterest for guidance and this is how it went:

YOU’LL NEED: one old tee, sharp scissors, a bowl, a marker, and a ruler.

STEP 1: Place the bowl over the neckline and draw a semi-circle guideline using the marker.

STEP 2: Cut along the line you just drew, plus snip off the sleeves and hem at the bottom. (You can use these off-cuts as cleaning rags if you like).

STEP 3: Line up the bottom of your tee up and use the ruler to guide you as you cut strips every 3 centimetres. For longer tassels, make each cut up to 10cm. I chose to keep mine shorter to give my bag more space for packing produce.

STEP 4: Tie those tassels up – one double knot at a time. That’s it. Done. Didn’t even need a step 5.

It turns out it’s really not that tough to give a second life to an old tee. Plus, now I have an extra reusable shopping bag in my armoire that can easily be popped into the wash with my other clothing when needed. Bonus!

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