I’ll be frank, the pants situation was getting pretty dire. Like, not just tired looking but actual holes. And I really don’t like to buy new clothes, but pants… they are not easy to find in charity shops. Unless you find them in the form of t-shirts and other knit fabric garments, that is. So it was that I came away from Sue Ryder in Halifax with about £27 worth of majority natural fibre, stretchy fabric garments in amazing prints and complementing solids. That was, like, a year ago. I finally got round to it last week. By which time, like I said, the pants situation was getting pretty dire.

I am super, super happy with the results though. With careful cutting and a bit of piecing where necessary, I managed to eke 22 pairs out of 12 garments.

As post-consumer recycled garments, these babies can out-eco your £20-a-pair organic bamboo earth-chic knickers with eco to spare, and at less than £1.50 a pair. I’ll never buy pants again. Not as pants anwyay.

Lets take a look at the process. Here’s the pile of raw materials. Mostly t-shirts and tops and a couple of dresses. I was lucky to find a Gudrun Sjödén dress, so now I have pants from one of my favourite designers. Technically.

First I looked for pretty patterns, and then picked out plain t-shirts to complement them.  I was careful about fabric content because, while polyester is evil anyway, it’s particularly evil in the context of underwear. A little elastane is inevitable, though, and really does help natural fibres keep their shape.

I cut all the garments slightly differently. Sometimes I could get the pieces on without any seams, and sometimes a seam ran up the middle of the piece or in the hip area, I just wanted to get the maximum pants and minimum waste, really.

I generally cut some backs and some fronts from each garment, but then mixed and matched them for style, and included any fun bits of trim from the original garment wherever possible, as below, where the hem of the top has become the waistband of the pants.

Some of them just use fine elastic and a folded edge, and some have fancy elastic lace I got a long time ago at Abakhan. It turned out to be a great way to get rid of some ends and pieces of elastic, as you can piece it without really affecting the end product.

Some of the fabrics I found were really flashy.

My pants collection is a lot more colourful now.

This is my favourite combination.

So there you have it, post-consumer recycled pants from charity shop clothes at a bargain price. I think it’ll catch on.