You’re excited! You spent all weekend shopping around, and you’ve finally decided on a sweet set of Cosy Club bedsheets. As you eagerly await your package, you walk over to your linen closet to make some room…and you realise it’s overflowing. Fitted sheets with broken elastic, moth eaten throws, sweat stained pillowcases…maybe it’s time you stopped clinging to your old sheets and did some spring cleaning. But what to do with all of them?

Most of us would probably just throw out sheets in the trash, but what happens to our old textiles in landfill? Close the Loop and Stacker gave us a rough breakdown of the time it takes each of these common bedding materials to decompose:

Linen: 2 weeks

Cotton: 6 months

Silk: 1-4 years

Wool: 1-5 years

Synthetics (polyester, spandex, nylon): 100 years

100 years?! With Australian sending approximately 800,000 tonnes of textile waste to landfill each year, that’s a lot of fabric clogging up our planet.

Instead of disposing your textiles this year, consider recycling or repurposing with our handy guide.

1.  The first stop should be the donations box. Pick out your nicest sheets that you just don’t care for anymore and set them aside to give to your local op-shop or shelter. Bed sheets can be an expensive necessity – take the opportunity to brighten someone’s day and help the community.

2. Some companies like Ecosa and After offer vouchers for sending in old bed sheets and clothes. They may collect whole sheets, or they may collect fabric per kilo. Other companies like Coyuchi offer a take-back program where old sheets are returned, mended or recycled, and resold.

3. Your slightly-less-nice-but-still-good sheets can be put aside to use as pet beds for your fur babies, or to donate to a local animal shelter or vet. Animals are messy, so the more sheets the better! Just make sure that the material is pet-safe. Also keep in mind many animal shelters will not take pillows or quilts.

4. Don’t care if the sheet gets stained? Then it will make a great drop cloth for messy activities. Art, cooking, spray-painting, renovating, any activity that’s likely to create chaos around you. If you’re interested in repurposing the sheet later, you can even experiment with tie-dying.

5. Speaking of art, it’s time to break out the old needle and thread. If the sheet is beyond repair, you can use the fabric to make any number of things: costumes, aprons, drawstring bags, pillowcases, stuffed toys, tea towels, scrunchies, masks, even a new quilt. Any large scraps can be thrown into a bag and used as cleaning rags.

6. If you absolutely cannot let go of a single scrap, you can follow these tutorials for making new fabric out of orts (scrap thread) and crumbs (scrap fabric).

    We at Cosy Club like doing our part, which is why our packaging is 100% eco-friendly. Our boxes, tags and ribbons are 100% recyclable, and our courier bag is compostable, so nothing is wasted.

    If you want to share how you’ve repurposed your old sheets, check out our Instagram and tag us in your creations with the hashtag #cosyclubcraft!

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