Skip to main content Skip to footer content

Repurposing Old/Used Clothes

Repurposing Old/Used Clothes

The students at Kingsborough Community College who are studying to receive their degree in Business of Fashion, including anyone interested, have found a creative way to ensure old clothes are not discarded but given new life and purpose.

3R Initiative: Repurposing Old/Used Clothes

DIY (Do It Yourself) websites abound with ways to reuse or repurpose everything from old straws to car tires. Nothing is off limits as to what we can do with the many things consumers discard due to wear and tear, or general loss of interest. Items are repurposed as art, home decorations, novelty items and gifts.

Unfortunately, old or torn clothes tend to be forgotten for years in the back of closets or can be found in mountain-high piles at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army warehouse, with many never reaching the homeless, nor the discount sale rack, or trashed, adding to the already overflowing landfills.

The students at Kingsborough Community College who are studying to receive their degree in Business of Fashion, including anyone interested, have found a creative way to ensure old clothes are not discarded but given new life and purpose. Through the 3R’s Initiative (Reclaim, Reimagine, Repurpose) conceptualized by business professor Michael J. Palladino, students will have the opportunity to reclaim unwanted clothing, reimagine ways in which the cloth can be reused to create stunning and fashionable pieces, and repurpose them by transforming, for example, what was a jacket, into designer pants.

“3R is a play on the acronym RRR (Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic), which I then changed to ‘Reclaim, Reimagine & Repurpose’,” said Palladino. “We use words like sustainability and upcycle, and stress the importance of community service to our students but often don't offer them practical opportunities for engagement. In my thinking, this initiative offers students a chance to build community within, offers an opportunity to explore their creativity, allows them to activate words like sustainability and upcycling, all while giving back to the community by selling their work and donating the proceeds to a not-for-profit.”

Palladino asked students to find clothes in the back of their closets that lost their purpose. “They were then tasked with reclaiming them, reimagining what they could be, and then repurposing them through design,” said Palladino. “The point was to keep costs at a minimum while they reimagined each piece.”

“My reason for joining the 3R initiative is because I felt there was a need for a younger audience to influence the community and environment around them toward a more sustainable life,” said Muray Nelson, a Business of Fashion student graduating in spring 2024. “It starts with us. We are becoming the future of tomorrow and leading the young and the older generations to living and creating a healthier planet and human existence. We are the world, and the world is us.”

The designs were part of the KCC Fashion Show on Thursday, Dec. 7 in the MAC where students showed their skills and were celebrated for their varied styles.

Each garment was on sale, with proceeds going to Bottomless Closet, an organization dedicated to empowering women through up-cycled fashion and workshops. For over 20 years, they have helped New York City women enter the workforce and succeed in style. Women are offered one-on-one sessions to give them the tools and resources they need to get back on their feet and back into the workforce.

About Ovations
KCC's faculty are exemplary professors, researchers, authors and more. Through Ovations, we seek to spotlight the extraordinary work, distinctive achievements and unique endeavors of Kingsborough's faculty members by highlighting their excellence in teaching, research and service.

 

 

Related Articles

Kingsborough Community College Celebrates 59th Commencement, Marking 60 Years of Educational Excellence

Friends and family celebrated the more than 1,700 students who graduated from Kingsborough Community College on June 18, 2024.

Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders: Kingsborough Community College and PTPS Program Build Pathways to Public Service

KCC has partnered with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Pathways to Public Service Program (PTPS).

Three Kingsborough Students Named Semifinalists for Coveted Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

KCC students Sumaya Jashim, Nawel Messaoudi, and Reuben Petit-Noel were among the 459 nationwide semifinalists selected by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for its highly competitive Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.