15 Ways to Recycle or Repurpose Your Underwear

How to Recycle Your Underwear

I don’t know about you but I wear my underwear until it falls apart.  But then what? Pitch it?  Or perhaps, your underwear has lost its elasticity or you just don’t wear it anymore?  Again, pitch or save?  If you are a greenie like me, you can’t bear to throw anything away to rot in a landfill. So, here are some ideas of how to recycle or repurpose your underwear.

Seriously.  I am not joking.

15 Ways to Recycle or Repurpose Your Underwear.

1.  Make a Quilt:  Use colorful boxers for quilt squares.  Little boy to pre-teen GAP boxers are adorable. I have contemplated using them to make my own quilts when I can clone myself.

2.  Use as Rags:  Of course, use the underwear as rags.

3.   Compost:   Cut off the elastic and compost your natural fiber underwear.  Use the elastic for other projects.

4.  Replace Stuffing :  Cut up the underwear and use cotton to replace stuffing missing in your children’s toys.

5.  Support Heavy Fruit:  Use thongs to support heavy fruit like huge tomatoes, small pumpkins, or melons.

6.  Make a bag:  Use the boxers to make a bag.  If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making an underwear bag, then buy an underwear bag from Heather, an Etsy seller.    She also makes underwear clutches too.

6.  Donate Them:  Donate your gently used underwear to the Salvation Army or the Goodwill.

7.  Scrunchies.  Yes, people still wear them.   Here is a tutorial on how to make one.

8.  Make a Rug:  Interweave your tighty whities with colorful boxer fabric to make a rug.  Here is a tutorial.

9.  Make a pot holder.  See this tutorial on how to make a scrap pot holder.

10.  Reusable Menstrual Pad.  Why not use the fabric to create a panty liner.  Here is a tutorial on how to make your own liner.

11.  Patches:  Use colorful boxers or underwear as patches to liven up clothes.  See here.

12.  Wrap present:  I guess I sound like a broken record but certain boxers and underwear are quite attractive.  Use them to wrap presents.  (Okay, use your best judgement here…)

13.  DIY Baby Doll Diaper.  Okay.  This one is so cute.  See here.

14.  Rockin’ Necklace:  Use your underwear to make a fringe necklace.  See here.  PS I am in love with this denim scrap necklace. I am sure you could use fabric to make the same one.

15.  Undies for Dolls.  How many of your girls love American Girls?  Here is a tutorial on how to make doll undies from women’s underwear. How cute is this concept?

In fact there is a whole  category on Pinterest on scrap fabric projects.  So go be your clever self and re-purpose your underwear.

***Be sure to read my tips on how to recycle or repurpose your bras.***

Green Sisterhood Earth Day Blog Carnival

Although I focused on one material to recycle or repurpose, we should all practice the 5 R’s:  refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle every day.  Here’s what my green sisterhood had to say as part of the Earth Day blog carnival sponsored by Green Sisterhood.

Karen of ecokaren:  How much waste do American’s generate.  Be sure to see the info-graphic.

Alicia of the Soft Landing:  4 Ways to Reduce Waste and Impress Skeptical Friends.

Betsy of Eco-novice:  Reduce Your Spending, Toxic Exposure and Waste by Ditching Disposables.

Kristina of Greening of Westford:  A Great breakdown of the 5 Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle.

Leigh of Green4U:  We Should We Teach the 5 Rs from refuse to recycle.

Jen of Jen and Joey Go Green:  Easy Actions to Reduce Waste.

Brenna of Almost All the Truth: Porlandia, the 5 Rs from refuse to recycle.


Join the Conversation:

  • How do you recycle or repurpose your underwear? People want to know.  Seriously.
  • How do you practice the five Rs?




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  1. 3

    Marcus says

    “5. Support Heavy Fruit: Use to support heavy fruit like huge tomatoes, small pumpkins, or melons.”

    Isn’t that what underwear does already? 😉

  2. 9

    Michelle says

    I love making doll undies! Don’t think i would wrap a present, but I liked many of the other ideas! (pantyliners, interesting!) bookmarking for later!

  3. 11


    I know it’s a little bit funny, come to think of it, but you’ll really be surprised to see what your old under-wears can become specially when they are made into creatively made rags. We used to do it back then, cause my cousin has a small tailoring business, and we actually were able to make it into a income generating venture.

    These rags sell pretty good. And the customers really have a great laugh after knowing what they were made of, and they ended up buying more.

  4. 13

    Sandy young says

    I cut the elastic off my old cotton underwear. Then I cut here and there to create a strip of cotton cloth which I stuff into my bra to absorb sweat.

    • 14


      Sandy, I love this idea. Do you have a picture you can share with me? If so, it here: info at green-talk dot com. I have to spell it out. Or contact me through my contact form. Anna

  5. 15


    Great ideas especially using them to re-stuff a toy and that could be extended to stuffing pillows and more. You have me thinking now. I have plenty of rags and usually compost underwear but now I’m going to try repurposing them first.
    Lois´s last blog post ..Pinterest Friday


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