Upcycling & thrifting clothes: 101


Image via EcoCult/Alden Wicker

Saousane Bejjaji, Features Co-Editor

If you’re like me, you’re always craving new clothes. Shopping sprees feel like therapy at the moment, but shortly after, you feel the guilt of splurging on unnecessary items. I’ve decided to take a different approach this month and tried upcycling old clothes with potential, while donating unsalvageable clothes. Not only is this an environmentally friendly and sustainable idea, but it’s also great if you’re looking to spend little to no money! Nevertheless, we’re still all stuck at home with a lot of free time. Here are a bunch of methods to upcycle clothes, and perfect places nearby to donate them!


Rendezvous PJ Shirt Tie Dye – Beginning Boutique US
Image via Beginning Boutique

Tie-Dye and Bleach-Dye

There are so many ways and patterns to dye clothes. Tie-dye has resurged as a trend this year, especially because it’s such an easy upcycle to do. If you’ve got something white, or light-colored, or black, you can easily look up a tie-dye or bleach-dye tutorial on Youtube or TikTok. 



Plato’s Closet

If you aren’t already familiar with this swanky thrift store, definitely make the time during a weekend to do so! Yes, donating clothes is great and should absolutely still be done, but why not also make a little extra cash in the process? Plato’s Closet will buy some of your clothes (depending on what brand or how trendy your clothes are) for around 30-40% of the price that you bought it. They sell their clothes for 60-80% off retail prices. So for basic things like T-shirts, you’ll make around $2.

Grand Opening of Plato's Closet in Waltham | Waltham, MA Patch
Image via Reston Patch

A few nearby locations are listed below.

  • 13005-S Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22033
  • 45591 Dulles Eastern Plaza #138, Sterling, VA 20166
  • 9688 Liberia Ave, Manassas, VA 20110




3 Ways to Make a Crop Top - wikiHow
Image via WikiHow

What you’ll need are scissors and a marker. Grab a needle and thread if you feel you’re able to do a little bit extra. Simply draw a faint dotted line beneath the area you wish to crop. If you have a needle and thread, hem the edges by folding about 1/3 of an inch on the inside of the shirt and sewing the fold in place. It’s as simple as that! Be sure to recycle the extra fabric by turning it into a headband, a cleaning cloth, or anything you can think of.


The Closet

The Closet is a nonprofit thrift store, which is definitely a hidden gem since it isn’t as well known as other thrift stores in the area. It was created to be a source of low-cost clothing for families on a tight budget. The Closet sells a wide variety of donated items, from men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes; to dishes, artwork, and knickknacks. The Closet also gives away clothing at no cost to individuals who truly need it. Simply gather and organize you’re donations, and drop it off at The Closet!


The Closet of the Greater Herndon Area - the Thrift Shop that Gives Back! —  Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston
Image via Universalist Unitarian Church of Reston

There is only one location for The Closet which is listed below.

  • 845 Station St, Herndon, VA 20170