What Do You Do With Old Swimsuits?

As the summer months approach, chances are you get excited about engaging in your favorite water sporting activities. Even if you won’t be participating in water-related activities, you will still be thrilled by the possibility of taking walks at the beach or pool sides. You might even enjoy sunbathing or simply like the idea of showing off your amazing body with all the curves in the right places. With so much excitement building up, you either turn to your old swimsuits or plan to buy new ones (read how many swimsuits you can own).

If you are opting for the latter, you may be surprised to find out that your favorite swimsuit is either no longer fitting, or has lost its elasticity. Worst still, you can head to the beach in it only to discover that your choice of swimsuit is no longer in vogue. In that instance and moment, you decide to buy a new swimwear but a thought creeps into your mind: what do you do with old swimsuits?

As hard as it might be to believe, there are several ways to reuse your old swimsuits instead of adding them to the landfill. Don’t get me wrong, buying new swimwear can be thrilling. You get to see new and adorable designs as well as styles that tickle your fancy. Also, if you’ve undergone major changes to your body, you will get to buy a swimsuit that fits perfectly with your body. However, taking a second look at your old swimsuit isn’t a bad idea, and below are a few ways you can find a use for them.

Are Swimsuits Recyclable?

With just about everyone engaging in one water sports event or the other, it’s easy to see how large quantities of old swimwear are available. Swimsuits such as wetsuits are produced using stretchy, rubbery material such as spandex or latex that simply isn’t recycling friendly. This essentially means many of the suits available today are not biodegradable. When washed, they tend to shed tiny pieces of plastic known as microfibers which get washed into the earth’s water system.

To reduce the effect of this, many ethical and sustainable swimwear brands now limit the collections they release annually.  This ensures that less amount of materials and resources are needed to make swimwear, making it sustainable. Asides from helping the ecosystem, it also helps manufacturers to create top-quality pieces.

Can You Donate Swimwear To Charity?

Yes, there are specific non-profit-oriented organizations that accept the donation of both worn and unworn swimsuits. Many of these organizations accept one-piece, 2-piece  as well as lingerie suits. Keep in mind that not all of your suits will qualify for donation as there are certain rules guiding this process.

If you intend to donate your old swimsuits, ensure they are still in good condition. It has to be neat, not completely worn out, and should be void of tears, stains, or holes (except if that is the design). An organization such as Suga accepts donations of old swimsuits and recycles them into yoga mats. Other organizations such as “Bras For a Cause” or “Free The Girls” accept donations and give them to those in need.

How to Reuse Old Swimsuits

Old swimsuits don’t have to end up in the garbage or landfills. If you look around your home or office closely, you will most likely find a use for them. While this might be unconventional, they can make for excellent substitutes and save you from additional expenses. Below are a few ways to find a use for your old swimsuits: 

1. Donate or swap with a friend

If you didn’t know, you can donate or swap your old swimwears that are still in excellent condition with a friend of similar size and stature. Cloth swapping is popular these days and nothing says you can’t try it out with swimsuits also. All you have to do is gather old wears and ask your friends to do the same. Then you all can go through each other’s pile to pick whatever you fancy.

This makes for an extraordinary way of creating a “shopping day” for your clique if you all don’t want to spend excessively. Everyone gets to own a “new to you” swimsuit. In the end, you might still have some leftover old swimsuits which you can then choose to donate to charitable organizations.

2. Rework old swimsuits to create newer blends

Out of all your old swimsuits, chances are there will still be a few that you love or have a sentimental attachment to. This can make it difficult to let go and in such instances, you can rejig it. For instance, you can replace worn-out elastic bands in old swimsuits to help improve their fitting on your body. Alternatively, you can also cut a one-piece suit into a charming 2-piece suit with a top to match the bottom. You can choose to even wear the top or bottom pieces separately with other sets to create a new color combination set that can catch the attention of other beach or park goers.

By reworking your old swimsuits, you get to keep a large portion of them while still creating an almost brand new collection of wears for yourself.

ALSO READ: Why Do Bathing Suits Lose Elasticity?

3. Make a bag from a one-piece swimsuit

One-piece bathing suits are popular and by extension are many people’s favorite. This means there is a chance you will own a few as well. And if it’s among your collections of old swimsuits, you can fashion it into a handbag for use in other aspects of your life such as when going to the beach or when transporting light and blunt objects. All you have to do is use a sewing machine to close up the leg openings. After which you have where the hand straps now serve as handles to carry your newly created pack beside you. Talk about creating a stylish and eco-friendly bag for yourself.

And you can leverage the different designs and patterns on the swimsuits to have a decent collection for use. Furthermore, you can incorporate it as a beach bag for your waterside items such as sunscreen, lotions, towels, swim caps, and goggles. It can also double as a pack for soaked swimsuits after having a fun day in the water or at the gym.

4. Make decorative wraps

Still, searching for ways to reuse your old swimsuits? Look no further than this option as it can help you add a bit of color and appeal to your previously dull home setting. And since your old bathing suits are most likely made from different materials, colors and patterns, you can use those differences as decorative items. All you have to do is cut your old bathing suits into slender strips of different sizes and lengths that you can tie around nearly any object you wish. From mason jars to nursery pots, you can add attractive color and hence life just by using pieces of your old swimsuits.

Alternatively, you can fashion out a quilt from your old bathing suits. All you need to do is simply cut each suit into squares and attach them either by sewing or gluing onto a sturdy backing. These squares are also great for patches for other clothes or items.

5. Sew pillow covers or doll clothes

If you have an appreciable amount of old swimsuits that you want to dispose of, why not turn them into covers for your pillows. One thing I love about this option is that it works regardless of the type of design of suits you own. And can make for a phenomenal cushion cover. To do this, all you need is the bathing suits as well as inside stuffing material to serve as a cushion.

Again, you don’t have to go searching for foams or feathers, if you by chance have a decent amount of old swimsuits, then you can cut them up as cushions. To get a handle on this, begin with small-sized throw pillows for chairs or vehicles before heading for much bigger ones.

Another use for your old swimsuits is to make colorful DIY baby doll dresses from them. You should consider this option if you have kids who love playing with dolls. Colorful swimsuits can help you make miniature dresses of different designs. Better still this can be a craft project you embark on with your kids to create stronger bonds.

6. Create a no-sew scarf

While a few of the repurposing options mentioned above might require you to have a sewing machine as well as basic sewing skills, this doesn’t. This means creating scarfs you’re your swimsuit is a suitable alternative use for them. Again, you will be leveraging the color as well as patterns of the swimsuits to create a decent collection of extraordinary scarves. All you need to do is lay each swimsuit flat on a table. Then proceed to make as many as possible circular cuts; you can rely on different measurements to help you maximize each suit. After cutting, fold in a twisting manner and you have multiple scarves for use.

Conclusion – What do you do with old swimsuits?

Old swimsuits aren’t entirely worthless and can still find use away from the garbage. There are non-profit organizations that are actively in search of these garments to give to those in need of them. If you feel you can’t donate your old bathing suits, then you can find a use for them from any of the above-mentioned options. This list is by no means exhaustive and what you can do with old swimsuits is numerous. It all comes down to your creativity and ingenuity.


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