Stewardship Monday: The Fourth “R”

We’ve all heard of and practiced the “three R’s”: recycle, reduce and reuse. These are a steward’s standby for many daily decisions. As we dive into Spring cleaning, there is a fourth ‘R’ to consider before we fill the recycle and trash bins. RE-PURPOSE. Also known as up-scaling or up-cycling, re-purposing old items can be a creative way to give them new life at a low cost, while helping you to finally get rid of that stuff that you’ve held onto.

I know I’ve got a whole shelf of commemorative t shirts from various events and shows that I have been to since high school! With a couple of hours and my sewing machine I can have a fun quilt of memories—without stepping foot in a fabric store!

Re-purposing clothes is particularly appealing because many fabrics represent a significant amount of resources. Cotton production, for example, can be costly—25% of all pesticides used in the US are for cotton plants used in textiles. The cotton for one pair of new jeans takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow. Other fabrics, such as polyester, are made from petroleum products that also require chemical processing and dying.

Not all clothes can be handed down or donated, but they can still have a second purpose. Quilts, decorations, scrunchies, even simple dish rags can be a great way to use old clothes. Check out some more creative people’s ideas for re-purposing clothes!

There are some amazingly creative ways to re-purpose things around the house. Please share you ideas!


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