Categories: Fashion & Design

3 Simple Methods to Upcycle T-shirts!

Most of us have many t-shirts hanging around at home. T-shirts that are pretty old, stained, or shirts that have lost their tension over time. In a survey conducted in Britain by Times UK, Britons have been throwing away clothes worth a total of £12.5 billion last year, and 300,000 tonnes of textiles waste end up in landfills. This is the effect of the fast fashion culture where clothes are worn a few times and easily tossed into bins. Well, instead of throwing them out, why not look at 3 simple ways in which we can upcycle our old t-shirts and be socially responsible in not adding more waste to the fashion and textiles industry.

  1. T-Shirts to Bath Mats

You will need:

  • Mesh (To be used as rug base)
  • Old Shirts
  • Scissors


  • Start with cutting old T-shirts into strips
  • Tie them onto the mesh panel (as seen in photo below)
  • Repeat with as many knots as possible

Picture credit:

  1. T-Shirts to grocery bag

You will need:

  • Old T-shirt
  • Scissors


  • Start by laying T-shirt flat down and cutting away sleeves.
  • Create a fringe effect by cutting equal lengths at the bottom of the T-shirt
  • Knot together all the front and back ends of the T-shirt fringes.

Picture credit :

  1. T-Shirts to Necklace

You will need:

  • Crew neck T-shirt
  • Scissors


  • Lay the T-shirt on a flat surface
  • Cut out the neckline of the T-shirt
  • Cut the remaining T-shirts into strips across the torso. This will form a big loop
  • Put all the loops together and pull
  • Form a twist holding the two ends of the loop
  • Combine both ends into one
  • Using the leftover fabrics, wrap a few rounds around the strips
  • Knot it.

Picture Credit:

May we all play our part in reducing waste towards the fashion and textiles industry and have fun in the process of upcycling our old clothings!

This article is written by Melinda Lau from the School of Fashion & Design.


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management. These programmes are offered in collaboration with renowned universities in the United Kingdom.

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