There is nothing better than slipping between luxurious OLARA bamboo sheets. The silky feel envelopes you in a gentle embrace, readying you for a fantastic night's sleep. Purchasing sustainable bamboo bedding is an excellent decision, but it can leave you thinking, "what do I do with my old cotton sheets?"
Did you know that millions of tons of bed linen end up in landfill every year globally? Here at OLARA, we want you to keep your old sheets out of landfill for as long as possible. Try to reduce your consumption of other resources by repurposing your old cotton sheets into other things.
Here are some simple ways to repurpose, reuse, and recycle your old cotton bedding, keeping it out of our landfills.
You may not realise it, but several Australian companies specialise in recycling bedsheets. It's more common than you think. A quick Google search can point you to your nearest bedsheet recycling facility.
We can't think of a more heartwarming way to repurpose your old cotton sheets than donating them to charity shops. They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure, and while you may no longer need your cotton bedding, someone else may. If you are worried your cotton bedding is too old or worn, consider donating them to an animal rescue shelter instead. They are always looking for extra material to keep their shelters cosy.
Be creative and attempt a DIY project
Clothing: If you feel creative, consider repurposing your cotton bedding into apparel. Many older sheets have beautiful designs, so rather than buying expensive fabric, upcycle your old sheets into clothing. A simple cotton beach dress is easy to whip up, or an easy pyjama pattern might be an excellent place to start if you're new to sewing.
Shopping bags: Grab your scissors and sewing kit for an easy DIY shopping bag. Repurpose your old sheets by turning them into reusable grocery bags, and you'll never have to buy them again. They are eco-friendly and fold up to almost nothing, so you can easily store them in your handbag or car.
Aprons and smocks: If you have young children, consider turning old sheets into aprons or art smocks. For an easy no-sew art smock, start by cutting a hole in the middle of a square bedsheet. Pop it over your head like a poncho, then cut it down to a suitable length. You can even make an apron for yourself to wear when cooking.
Napkins: spruce up your dining table by repurposing your cotton sheets into cloth napkins. Start by cutting your sheets into squares; 30cm square for lunch-size napkins and 45cm squares for formal dinner napkins, adding a little extra for seam allowance. Once you've cut your fabric, fold over each seam twice, press, and stitch down.
Drop cloths: old sheets make fantastic drop cloths for any home renovations. Use them to cover your furniture when painting and for wrapping belongings if moving. Almost any time you need to cover a large area or object to stop it from getting dirty, use an old sheet.
Eco-friendly gift wrapping: Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in fabric. Using your old bedding to wrap your gifts is chic and eco-friendly. You can reuse the material over and over.
Keep them as a toy: we all know how much kids love building forts. You don't want them to use your bamboo duvets covers or sheets while playing, so keep a stack of old cotton sheets and a tub of pegs on hand. That way, they will have plenty of fabric to build the best fort ever.
Cleaning rags: if you think your cotton bedding is beyond saving, reach for the scissors and start cutting them up into rags. You can never have enough rags on hand for dirty jobs. For fitted sheets, remove the elastic before tearing the sheets up.
These are just a few ideas on what to do with your old bedsheets. It's time to get out of the rut of waste and into the habit of closing the loop. Finding a way to repurpose or donate your sheets prolongs their life, reducing waste. Feel free to share what you do with your sheets by sharing a picture and tagging @olarahome on Instagram.
Now you have no excuse for failing to repurpose your old cotton bedding. And remember, once you've finished recycling your cotton bedding, you can slip back between your luxurious bamboo sheets and sleep like a baby.