Can You Recycle T-Shirts? (And 10 Ways to Reuse Old T-Shirts)

Like every other material that you use, every t-shirt has a lifespan. You went shopping and felt the freshness, followed by the initial washing, which makes it extra soft and worn out. After several months, the once new and fresh wear becomes obsolete, old, and torn. They become inappropriate for outings and events.

So, what do you do with these old t-shirts? Do you get them stacked in one corner of your house without knowing what to do with them? These cotton products, which are not in use, can greatly mess up your environment and make living quite unpleasant and unhealthy.

Knowing how to effectively and safely get rid of these t-shirts can be fundamental and vital. This is why we are considering the link between your t-shirts and the environment. Why not join us in exploring the different options that you can adopt to get rid of them? Providing you with these myriads of options is the focus of this post. So, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride with us.

Are T-Shirts Recyclable?

Whether t-shirts can be recycled or not remains one of the pressing questions many individuals often ask. Saying these materials are recyclable will not be considered to be the most appropriate and satisfying answer. The recyclability of an old t-shirt depends on an important factor: the type of product made of the shirt.

This means that not all types of t-shirts are recyclable. While some types of t-shirts are largely made of cotton, others are made of spandex and other poly-materials. So which of these two types of t-shirts are recyclable? Your guess is as good as ours.

T-shirts made of pieces of cotton-like, cardboard boxes and plastic bottles are greatly recyclable. This is because they are 100% cotton. Cotton is a highly recyclable material.

Thus, if you have got a considerably large amount of old cotton t-shirts in your wardrobe, you can get rid of them by getting them to your local or state recycling station. This is where the recycling process begins.

Usually, the process of recycling begins from the break-and-sort stage. At this stage, the old t-shirts are broken down into smaller fibers, changed to yarn, and then recycled into a new piece sold in the store. Spandex t-shirts and other poly-material t-shirts can not go through these processes.

Are T-Shirts Sustainable?

The fact that you can wear a t-shirt at any convenient time and every season does not mean that these cotton materials do not affect the environment. Research has shown that the fashion industry to which t-shirt production belongs is among the world’s highest polluters of the natural environment and resources.

However, it can’t be concluded that all t-shirts pose threats and risks to the environment. Whether a t-shirt is a threat to the environment’s safety and health depends on what it is made of. T-shirts made of synthetic materials such as spandex and poly-material t-shirts pose great threats to the environment.

These types of t-shirts which are made from synthetic fibers are generally manufactured using non-renewable products/resources like fossil fuels. These chemicals do not break down easily, thereby leaving lasting effects on the environment.

Chemicals used in the production of these shirts are harmful to the human body; how much more to the environment? These types of t-shirts are also said to be responsible for land, air, and water pollution.

Contrary to this type of t-shirts, t-shirts made of cotton can be said to have little or no effect on the environment. This is because these types are made from a natural source or material: cotton. Cotton does not have any side effects associated with it.

Can You Make Money Selling T-Shirts?

The quick and easy answer to this question is a big yes. You can make a good fortune by putting out your old and used t-shirts for sale. Whether these t-shirts worth a fortune or not depends on some factors.

You can put out a whole pile of used t-shirts, and the price will be quite minimal. On the other hand, a small pile of used clothes can cost a lot. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence the monetary value of these t-shirts. They are explained in the paragraphs below.

1. Condition And Durability: The condition of the t-shirts you offer for sale determines how much a buyer will be willing and ready to pay for them. If what you offer for sale is worn out, torn, rough, and scattered, the princely will likely not be handsome.

Hence, endeavor to check if the t-shirt is still in good shape if the buttons (if there’s any on it) are still in place if it has not faded. Once your t-shirt passes these tests, you will have a lot of profits from selling them.

2. Quantity And Size: This is another determining factor of the monetary worth of your t-shirts. The number of t-shirts you are offering for sale will determine the amount you will be paid. The more the number of t-shirts, the higher the amount and vice versa. However, it is vital to know that quality supersedes quantity. Hence, endeavor to give quality than quantity.

3. Acceptability: Is the buyer willing and ready to pay for the products? The worth of your t-shirts depends on the willingness and readiness of the buyer to pay for them. Once the buyer accepts it, you are about to cash out on your used t-shirts.

Are T-Shirts Biodegradable?

Upon sighting a landfill and spotting numerous clothing items, especially t-shirts which have previously been worn, it does not give off the right sensation. As such, it is deemed quite important for you to know which of your household items appropriately belongs to the landfill and those that do not. This information will no doubt help to keep and protect our environment. As regards t-shirts, let’s discover the answer together.

Well, to our million-dollar question, are t-shirts biodegradable? It’s relatively uncomplicated and straightforward. The answer is Yes and No. We are sure you are somewhat confused. Relax, we will explain.

T-shirts Are Biodegradable

Technically, t-shirts are biodegradable, and the reason is not far-fetched. They are clothing made out of absolute cotton, silk, natural fiber, or rayon. As such, these materials would naturally degrade over time, given the proper ingredients and suitable conditions.

T-shirts Are Not Biodegradable.

On the flip side, we deduced that t-shirts are not biodegradable because, although they would naturally degrade under appropriate conditions, sadly, these appropriate conditions barely exist, especially in landfills. Unfortunately, landfills happen to be the commonest location for the deposit of waste products.

However, you could as well dump your t-shirts in the open or at the back of your house, and after some time, it would start to degrade as it begins to get the proper exposure needed for it to biodegrade.

However, if deposited in a landfill, it would be covered by other refuse in the shortest time, and being in such a condition without air, it could take several thousands of years before it biodegrades. In the worst scenario, it may end up never getting biodegraded.

You will only be wasting your resources, including time and energy, trying to ensure that it gets biodegraded.

10  Ways To Reuse Old T-Shirts

If by chance, you are an environmental enthusiast, a very creative person, or just a curious mind, then this is for you. We have curated a couple of ways through which you can reuse your old t-shirts. Sounds interesting, right? Well, keep reading!

1. Make A comforter

You can easily transform your old t-shirts into a comforter. All you need is a couple of your t-shirts padded together, and boom! You have for yourself a blanket to keep you warm or to serve as a form of cushion.

2. Pillow Case

With your old t-shirts, you can simply transform them and have for yourself a shirt pillowcase. You just need a big shirt to serve as a casing, then tons of other t-shirts to be tucked inside to form the cushion. And there, you have yourself a pillowcase.

3. A Coin purse

With an old t-shirt, you can make yourself a little purse or even a wallet to keep stuff like little change, credit cards, etc.

4. Tote Bag

If there’s one fashion item or accessory we can agree is in vogue these days, it is a tote bag. The good thing about this tote bag is that it’s not expensive. It can be gotten from easily seen materials. An example of such materials is t-shirts. With your old t-shirts, you can easily make your tote bags. And the best part is that it could be with any material you want, be it cotton or denim.

5. Dress’s shirt

Who says men’s t-shirts cannot be transformed into another type of cloth?  With your old t-shirts, you can easily make yourself another piece of clothing, for instance, a shirt dress or even underwear for ladies. All you need to do here is simply get creative by cutting out the sleeves, the polo, and other parts of the shit that is quite irrelevant.

6. Art

If you find it hard to let go of an old t-shirt, probably because it has sentimental values, then this is for you. This way, you get to unlock your art skills while also keeping a prized possession. You can choose to frame it up and hang it as a form of decoration in your home.  Examples of t-shirts that are perfect for this are your favorite club’s jersey or a shirt signed by your favorite artist at a concert.

7. Accessories

If you think that tote bags are the only types of accessories you can make out of your old t-shirt, then you are mistaken. With your old t-shirt, you can make a casual belt. All you need to do is cut it into strips or long pieces and braid it together in a knotted twist, and you have yourself a belt. You can even choose to spice it up by using various colors of t-shirts to make the belt.

Additionally, you can make out a scarf from your old t-shirt. It is quite easy. All you need to do is remove the button from the shirt, cut out the fabric to suit the shape of the scarves you want, and finally sew the edges to make it neat.

8. Dog Toys

If you have a dog as a pet, then this might prove useful for you. with an old t-shirt, you can make for your dog a pull toy simply by cutting the shirt into strips and braiding them together into a knotted twist. Finish it off with a big knot and customize the strips into various sizes depending on your dog’s size.

9. Beanbags

During outdoor parties such as barbecues or picnics, the use of beanbags is inevitable; with your old t-shirts, you get to have as many beanbags as you want to create for yourself. Simply make use of a needle and thread as well as glue. And there, with your durable fabric, you have yourself a beanbag.

10. Rags

If the worst comes to worst, and there is no more use for your old t-shirts, then simply turn them into rags to be used around the house


T-shirts are almost everyone’s favorite, but if not properly handled, they could be a problem for the environment. This is why we must become conscious of our environment as we use t-shirts. This will not just make us responsible citizens, but also help us save our environment.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.