Best Recycled Yarns
From recycled Macramé cord to 4ply recycled yarn, there's loads of Recycled yarns that are perfect for knitting and crochet!
As well as reducing and reusing, many of us are now making efforts to make sustainable and eco-friendly choices with our purchases - and you'll be glad to learnt that this is easily achievable in the world of yarn too! Over the last few years we've seen yarn brands embracing new technology and creating innovative new yarns to meet the public demand for more sustainable products.
While you can choose to use natural fibres that are eco-friendly (such as biodegradable plant-based fibres), there's been a real trend in recent years for recycled yarn - made from a surprising array of materials. From reusing waste from the textile industry to transforming plastic bottles, from super-chunky cord style yarns to fancy 4ply yarns, there's a recycled yarn to suit almost any crochet or knitting project.
Take a look at some of our favourite recycled yarns and see if you can find one for your next project. You might also enjoy our pick of the best vegan yarns, and you can cut down on air miles by purchasing yarn made by any of the best British yarn producers.
Best Recycled Yarn
Hoooked Zpagetti Recycled T-shirt Yarn
One of our favourite companies that produces eco-conscious recycled yarns is Hoooked, who have specialised in creating 100% recycled yarns from their companies inception. The Hoooked Zpagetti yarn was their first ever product, and is still going strong. It's made from 100% recycled textile yarn made of superior quality selvedges and remnants from the textile industry. This super chunky t-shirt yarn is perfect for your big knitting and crochet projects as it not only works up fast but also has great strength and sculptural qualities, making fantastic rugs, cushions and more. It'll need to be worked with some large crochet hooks or needles - generally anything above 10mm (even going up to 20mm), and your arms will get quite a workout with such big stitches - but it really is loads of fun! The yarn comes in a bobbin form, which can vary slightly in weight depending on the composition of the textiles but is generally between 700-850 grams.
Buy Hoooked Zpagetti Recycled T-shirt Yarn from Amazon
If you like the idea of using super-chunky T-shirt yarn, then you can always to a bit of upcycling yourself - simply raid your wardrobe for some old T-shirts and check out our How to make T-shirt yarn tutorial! And if you don't have any old T-shirts to hand, then you could always try our How to make plastic bag yarn tutorial instead!
Lion Brand Re-up Recycled Cotton Yarn
When it comes to making eco-conscious choices when buying yarn, it's not solely about the fibre content - the production process also plays an important role. On average it takes 20,000 litres of water to make 1 kilogram of new cotton, so by using one 70 gram ball of Re-Up you are saving 1,400 litres of water. This 100% recycled cotton yarn is a great choice for your Aran weight projects, creating a fabric that is not only hardwearing but also soft and absorbent - perfect for projects like baby clothes and dishcloths. The Re-Up yarn is available in a selection of vivid and bright solid colours, as well as some awesome self-striping variegated shades too.
Buy Lion Brand Re-up Recycled Cotton Yarn from Amazon
B&M Recycled Cotton Macrame Cord
Here's a recycled cotton that is great for those of you who want to try a few different colours of recycled yarn without having to spend loads. These 100% recycled cotton cords come with 200m of yarn in total, but split across the 7 shades (so approximately 28m of each colour). This cotton cord is described as being roughly 2mm thick and features a solid braid-style structure, which not only makes it perfect for macramé projects but could also be used for knitting or crochet projects too!
Buy B&M Recycled Cotton Macrame Cord from Amazon
Paintbox Yarns Recycled Cotton Worsted yarn
Paintbox yarns have a few different types of cotton yarns in their range (including a recycled T-shirt yarn), but we're particularly fond of their Recycled Cotton Worsted range. Available in 10 sumptuous solid colours, this 100% recycled cotton Aran-weight yarn is incredibly versatile and hard-wearing, making it a go-to choice for your cotton projects.
Buy Paintbox Yarns Recycled Cotton Worsted yarn from Lovecrafts
New Wave Recycled Yarn
So far we've seen a few yarns that are made up of recycled cotton, but here's a yarn that takes recycling to the next level! The New Wave Yarn from Wool and the Gang is a gorgeously soft and lightweight tape-style yarn, but what's most amazing is it's fibre content - it's made from a blend of cotton and polyester - with the polyester coming from recycled plastic bottles, in fact 3 plastic bottles go into each ball of New Wave Yarn. As it's a tape-style yarn it'll work up similar to a chunky yarn, giving you nice big and quick stitches with superb definition.
Buy New Wave Yarn from Wool and the Gang
Rowan Denim Revive Recycled DK yarn
If you want an extra dimension to your recycled cotton yarns, then we think you'll love the Denim Revive yarn from Rowan. Made up of recycled cotton and denim fibres, it's a fabulous DK recycled yarn that is packed full of character, with 12 gorgeous washed shades to choose from. The resulting knitted or crocheted fabrics have a gorgeous tweedy mottled effect with lovely flecks of colours, so whatever you make with it you know that it's going to look wonderful.
Buy Rowan Denim Revive Recycled DK yarn from Lovecrafts
Yarn & Colors Amazing Recycled DK yarn
Many knitters and crocheters love using acrylic yarns, but don't love the fact that it's a synthetic material that is not easily recycled (at least with household recycling anyway) - but now Yarn & Colors have created a fabulous yarn that means you can treat yourself to a quality and affordable acrylic yarn that is also eco-conscious. The Amazing range from Yarn & Colors is a fantastic dk yarn made from 100% recycled acrylic fibres - collected from the waste produced in other acrylic textile production that would normally be thrown away. They then spin and dye it into one of 32 brilliantly bright solid shades, and with over 300m on a 100g ball you're getting plenty of value for money too!
Buy Yarn & Colors Amazing Recycled DK yarn from Lovecrafts
Erika Knight Studio Linen Recycled yarn
If you're looking for eco-friendly yarn then linen is always a good choice - being plant based it's sustainable and biodegradable, but you can also take you your eco sensibilities one step further with this recycled linen form Erika Knight. The Studio Linen range comes in 19 pretty pastel shades, and is made up of 85% recycled leftover linen from industrial use, and is then combined with an extra 15% of premium linen. The result is a super lightweight recycled yarn with a lovely drape and a sumptuous shine.
Buy Erika Knight Studio Linen Recycled yarn from Hobbii
Stylecraft ReCreate DK Recycled yarn
Here's a fabulous blend yarn that while being made from 3 different fibres, is 100% recycled! The Stylecraft ReCreate yarn is made up of 40% wool and 30% acrylic, which are both made from recycled garments, plus 30% of Polyester which is made from plastic bottles. The result is a fabulous Dk weight yarn with a soft and smooth feel to it, giving you superb stitch definition which will really show off your cables and other textured fancy stitches. It's available in 8 wonderful mottled shades.
Buy Stylecraft ReCreate DK Recycled yarn from TheKnittingNetwork
Cascade Yarns Refine Recycled 4ply yarn
If you like the idea of a blended yarn that is made from 100% recycled materials, then Cascade Yarns ReFine yarn is another good choice. This fab yarn has a majority content of 75% recycled Merino wool, with an added 20% of Nylon and 5% viscose (again from recycled materials), all coming together to make a yarn that is both soft and lightweight, making it an excellent choice for your 4ply summer knitting and crochet projects!
Buy Cascade Yarns Refine Recycled 4ply yarn from Lovecrafts
King Cole Limited Edition Recycled DK yarn
King Cole already have a reputation for making top quality DK acrylic yarns, with their Big Value range proving popular among knitters and crocheters alike. But now they've expanded on their Big Value range with this limited edition 100% recycled acrylic yarn, which comes in 10 fun shades ranging from bold mustard yellow and dark blues to tweedy pinks and purples - don't miss out though, it's available for a limited time only!
Buy King Cole Limited Edition Recycled DK yarn from Lovecrafts
Hoooked Wavy Blends Recycled Aran yarn
We do love a good yarn cake, and this Wavy Blends cake from recycling pioneers Hoooked has a whole host of extra reasons to fall in love with it! Firstly, it's made from 100% recycled materials (80% recycled cotton and 20% other recycled materials), and there's also a gorgeous colour gradient running through the whole cake. But it also features a fun construction, where the strands are made into one single braid (much like an i-cord), meaning you get a nice aran weight yarn to work with but that is still light and breathable. There's 9 fantastic colour combinations to choose from, so why not give one a try - we think you'll love it!
Buy Hoooked Wavy Blends Recycled Aran yarn from Lovecrafts
Back For Good Recycled Cashmere yarn
Maybe you like the idea of using a recycled yarn, but you just can't say no to luxury fibres? Then fear not, Wool and the Gang have you covered with their Back for Good Cashmere yarn! Cashmere has always been an expensive and luxury fibre as it takes a lot of animals (goats to be precise) to create a small amount of fibre, however with this aran yarn you can enjoy the luxury without the guilt, as it's made from 100% recycled Cashmere from garments and production waste. There's 6 lovely colours to choose from, which thanks to some selective sorting early in the process haven't required any additional dyeing either!
Buy Back For Good Recycled Cashmere yarn from Wool and the Gang
Here at Gathered we're big fans of upcycling, and you can find loads of inspiring projects in our Upcycling section to help you reduce, reusue and recycle. From makes for the home, like our how to upcycle a stool or how to upcycle a mirror tutorials, to projects to refresh your wardrobe, like our 32 upcycling clothes ideas or how to do visible mending tutorial - there's plenty of ways to get eco-concious with craft!
King Cole Forest Aran Recycled yarn
If you're after a yarn that has that lovely natural and homely feel, but still with those eco-friendly qualities, then you'll love the King Cole Forest range. With a blend of all recycled wool, acrylic, polyamide and viscose, this aran yarn comes in a range of 10 lovely natural and earthy tones - we particularly love the lavender style colours in the Delamore Forest shade.
Buy King Cole Forest Aran Recycled yarn from TheKnittingNetwork
Reborn Wool Recycled yarn
Our last recycled yarn is one for you real wool fans, as this Reborn Wool recycled wool from Kremke Soul Wool features 65% wool, with the rest being made up of recycled acrylic and polyester (again coming from those plastic bottles). The wool and acrylic that are used in these Aran skeins are made from recycled jumpers and textile waste, and Kremke Soul Wool are very honest about their fibre sources (for example, they're open about the fact that it's quite rare for modern garments and textile waster to be made from wool alone, so this is why they use garments that are 60% wool or more). The result is a lovely natural woolly feeling yarn, but with a little extra strength thanks to those recycled synthetic fibres.
Buy Reborn Wool Recycled yarn from Hobbii
We hope you’ve enjoyed our pick of the best recycled yarns, don’t forget if you need any help with your crochet stitches you can always check out our crochet for beginners guide, and for knitters check out our knitting for beginners guide. And if you’re looking to treat yourself, check out our list of the best crochet hooks or the best knitting needles.
Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.