What to Do with Old Swimsuits?

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Many people accumulate a collection of old swimsuits over the years, whether it be from outgrowing them, changing fashion trends, or wear and tear. Rather than throwing them away, there are several options for what to do with these suits that can benefit both the individual and the environment.

One option is to donate the swimsuits to organizations that provide swimwear to those in need, such as underprivileged children or refugees. This not only gives the swimsuits a second life, but also allows individuals to contribute to a good cause. Another option is to repurpose the swimsuits into new items, such as tote bags or hair accessories. This allows for creativity and sustainability, as well as a unique and personalized touch to everyday items. Finally, recycling the swimsuits is another environmentally friendly option, as many swimsuits are made from synthetic materials that can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.

Overall, there are many options for what to do with old swimsuits that can benefit both the individual and the environment. By considering these alternatives, individuals can make a positive impact and reduce waste.

Recognizing the Condition of Your Old Swimsuits

Before deciding what to do with old swimsuits, it’s important to assess their condition. Here are some things to look for:


Check if the swimsuit still fits properly. If it’s too tight or too loose, it may not be worth keeping.

Torn or Damaged

Inspect the swimsuit for any tears, holes, or other damage. If the damage is minor, it may be possible to repair it. However, if the damage is extensive, it may be time to say goodbye to the swimsuit.

Faded or Discolored

If the swimsuit has lost its original color or has become discolored, it may not be as appealing to wear. A faded swimsuit may also indicate that it’s worn out.


If the swimsuit has become stretched out or has lost its elasticity, it may not be comfortable to wear anymore. Additionally, if the fabric has become thin or see-through, it may be time to retire the swimsuit.


Consider the quality of the swimsuit. If it was a high-quality swimsuit to begin with, it may still be in good condition even after years of use. However, if it was a cheaply made swimsuit, it may not have held up as well over time.

By assessing the condition of old swimsuits, it becomes easier to decide what to do with them. Whether it’s donating them, repurposing them, or simply discarding them, it’s important to make a decision that aligns with the condition and quality of the swimsuit.

Different Ways to Reuse or Repurpose Old Swimsuits

Old swimsuits often get discarded or left in the back of the closet, but there are many creative ways to give them a new life. Here are some ideas to reuse or repurpose old swimsuits:

  • Make a pillow cover: Cut the swimsuit into strips and sew them together to create a colorful pillow cover. This is a great way to add some beachy vibes to your home decor.
  • Create headbands and hair ties: Cut the elastic parts of the swimsuit into strips and tie them into headbands or hair ties. This is a simple and stylish way to accessorize your hair.
  • Make a jump rope: Cut the swimsuit into long strips and braid them together to create a durable jump rope. This is a fun DIY project that can also be a great workout tool.
  • Create patches and squares: Cut the swimsuit into small squares or patches and use them to decorate other clothing items or accessories. This is a great way to add some color and texture to your wardrobe.
  • Make a tote bag or wet bag: Use the swimsuit material to create a tote bag or wet bag for your beach or pool essentials. This is a practical and stylish way to keep your items organized and protected.
  • Create a mermaid tail: Use the swimsuit to create a mermaid tail for kids or adults. This can be a fun costume or a unique way to swim in style.
  • Make a no-sew scarf or cover-up: Cut the swimsuit into a long strip and tie it around your neck to create a stylish scarf. You can also use it as a cover-up for your swimsuit. This is a quick and easy way to upgrade your beach look.

Overall, there are many ways to reuse or repurpose old swimsuits. With some creativity and basic sewing skills, you can turn them into unique and practical items that add some fun and style to your life.

Donating and Recycling Options for Old Swimsuits

When it comes to old swimsuits, there are a variety of options available for those who want to dispose of them in an eco-friendly way. One of the easiest ways to reduce waste is to donate gently used swimsuits to organizations that accept clothing donations. Thrift stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army are great options for those looking to give their old bikinis a second life.

For those who want to recycle their swimsuits, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to clean and wash the swimsuit thoroughly before recycling it. This helps to ensure that any stuffing or waterproofing materials are removed before the swimsuit is recycled.

There are a variety of organizations that accept swimsuits for recycling. Some of these organizations, like Repreve and Econyl, specialize in turning old swimsuits into new, sustainable materials. Others, like Bras for a Cause, donate a portion of the commission from recycled swimsuits to charities that support families and homeless shelters.

In addition to donating and recycling, there are other options available for those who want to reduce waste and promote sustainability. For example, investing in a waterproof swim bag can help to extend the life of a swimsuit by protecting it from damage and wear and tear. Additionally, researching eco-friendly swimsuit brands can help to ensure that future swimsuit purchases are made with sustainability in mind.

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