I’m not going to buy zero waste hair bands when I can easily upcycle old clothing to make some.

I know I keep saying it, but I really enjoy applying circular economy principles in my home! Small daily decisions that reduce the use of virgin resources, optimize resources and minimise waste can make a difference to our planet, reduce our reliance on money, and involve some creativity.

By upcycling our old clothing into hair bands I have completely removed the environmental impacts of taking virgin resources for the manufacture, packaging and distribution of new hair bands and I’m making the resources that went into my clothing go further by using the materials beyond their intended lifespan. This reduces waste in many more ways than just managing the end of life of product.

Here’s a little video (40seconds) I made to show you how to turn old socks, tights, and stockings into hair bands. It could not be easier!

Hair band made from upcycled stockings.
Hair band made from upcycled stockings.
Hair band made from upcycled sock
Hair band made from upcycled sock.

Some other things you could do to make hair bands from clothing include disassembling old garments to reuse the fabric, yarn and elastic that went into making them.

Elastic pieces can simply be cut to size and knotted or stitched together to make hair bands, yarn could be knitted or crocheted into hair bands (do some googling for patterns), and fabric can be used with elastic to make a scrunchy! Who else made those when they were kids?!

Hair bands made from upcycled elastic from old clothing.
Hair band made from upcycled elastic from old clothing.
Hair band made from upcycled yarn from old clothing.
Hair band made from upcycled yarn from old clothing.
Scrunchy Image by ikatbag
Scrunchy Image by ikatbag

Unfortunately, the hair bands described cannot be recycled or composted at the end of their life (except for fabric and yarn made from natural materials), but then neither can most hair bands. So if you need them, making them from your waste is very sustainable. If you don’t have suitable materials to upcycle, then consider a visit to your local opportunity shop before purchasing new zero waste hair ties like these.

19 thoughts

  1. I did not expect this to be a no-sew project! Awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t really have that many tights, but will use this for socks that have done their service. Another thing I do for hair bands is pick up discarded ones and clean them ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Isn’t it funny how many hair bands you find on the ground, especially around netball courts.
      Even though I don’t mind sewing, I love no sew projects because they only take a matter of seconds to make!
      I haven’t worn stockings in so long but these were still in our dress-up box. I’ve also used the compression stockings I was given from the hospital last week, and my daughter has ballet tights so between all those and old socks, I think we are set for life! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Only yesterday afternoon I stood in front of the hair ties at the chemist thinking will I or won’t I. Then I remembered a housemate, years ago, making hair ties out of old stockings. That solves that problem. What great timing to read your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant. Thanks Tammy. I also use stockings for garden ties (to stakes). Hey while we are on feet, any ideas for old leather shoes that are not good enough for Vinnies?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My leather boots have just died too. But I’m still wearing them in the garden. I don’t really like any of the upcycling projects I’ve seen for shoes and there are no recycling options for them in Australia. I think I will have to take all the non biodegradable parts off the boots and then bury the leather. It will biodegrade but not for a very long time – I think I read somewhere it would take 25 – 50 years. so no good for the compost bin.


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