How to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Fabrics

This Thursday, April 22nd is Earth Day! This year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth.”


Earth Day was established in 1970.

Even crafters like ourselves can help restore our planet by being mindful with how we use our scraps, old clothing and extra fabric. Here are some of our top ideas on how to reduce, reuse and recycle your fabrics.

Reduce Your Fabrics

It’s all about buying smart when it comes to reducing your fabric usage. You don’t need to do fewer projects to shop smart. Buy in bulk the material you use often (that also helps save on transportation). For other fabrics, try to bundle projects together to get the most out of your material. 

When making apparel, upholstery or anything that will have high use, buy fabrics that are durable. Durable, high-quality fabrics will last longer. That means you won’t need to replace the items as often, thereby decreasing your fabric consumption.


“The recycling rate for all textiles was 14.7 percent in 2018, with 2.5 million tons recycled.” — EPA

Reuse Your Fabrics

You can shred your fabric–from bed sheets to old clothes–to use as stuffing for stuffed animals and pillows in need of some extra fluff. Old t-shirts and towels make great cleaning rags for the house. 

On the creative front, one fun project to reuse your fabrics would be to take old clothes and make a quilt out of them. These make for great keepsakes while being a mindful way of using fabrics.

When clothes and upholstery is starting to look a little sad, try mending them. Mending can prolong the life of your fabrics, but it is a skillful practice. Furniture and clothing, depending on the type of material, requires different care, but nothing is impossible with a needle and thread!


It’s thought that textile recycling is so low because people don’t know what to do with their used fabrics.

Recycle Your Fabrics

One way to recycle your fabrics is to transform them. Take your scrap fabric and make them into something new!

Find a textile recycling program and donate your clothes to them. Companies, like SMART, specialize in textile recycling. The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters, and according to SMART, 85% of clothing and textiles wind up in a landfill when 95% can be reused or recycled.

Lastly, your textiles can find a second life with others if you donate them to your local thrift store or charity shop. It’s a wonderful way to help the charitable organization and allow others to enjoy your old clothing, sheets, table clothes and drapes.


Globally, only 10% of fabrics get recycled. (BBC)

Come to Canvas ETC for Your Fabric Craft Ideas

At Canvas ETC, we pride ourselves on offering the best materials for your sewing projects. Besides our products, we love providing advice and tutorials on our favorite projects. Follow us on social media and check out our YouTube channel for great content.

Don’t forget to share your sewing projects with us on social media! We love to see what you’re working on.