01 May 2008

Recycled Clothing

Okay, so maybe Earth Day awareness isn't such a bad thing. Maybe it's just a coincidence but for the last week or so I've been thinking a lot more than usual about recycled clothing. Thrift shopping, whether it's for ready-to-wear garments or raw materials to make new garments is recycling. Recycling isn't just bottles and cans (and just clap your hands).

The internet is a weird, wild place and I happened across this article this morning, How to make a baby romper from a t-shirt, which reminded me that there are some thrift stores in my new neighborhood that I've been meaning to check out. Also, I know about a hundred women having babies this year so used t-shirt onesies, in theory, sound like good gifts. In reality though I can't think of anyone (except maybe Vicky, eco-conscious supermom -- let me know!) who'd actually want onsies made from t-shirts.

I set out to visit those thrift stores this morning. I had my canvas shopping bag filled with items to mail from the post office and once it was empty I was anxious to fill it with "new" stuff. Both stores were a bust. One wasn't open and I was tired of wasting time waiting for it to open. But judging from the window displays it didn't look like there was much inside I'd be interested in. The second one turned out to be for high-end consignments and they had absolutely no clothing. A nice woman showed me a tiny selection of cute linens, but nothing I felt like buying. I did, however, find a used bookstore so I filled up my bag with books. (Like I need more books, but they were $2 each. How could I resist? And one has already given me a recipe to try for dinner tonight.)

So, I'm not a garment recycler yet but I'm working on it. I'm still interested.


Diane H K said...

Awesome link! Thanks for posting it. I trawl the thrift shops looking for both used children's clothes for my tot and items that can be made into future garments for her. I think the only new clothing item I bought for her this year was a pair of shoes. And some new yarn to make a sweater for her.

Recycled clothing is huge up here. I get together on Tuesday nights with a bunch of crafters at a local hip 'n' cool pub (after the tot goes to bed, of course, and her dad stays home to keep an eye on things), and we sew, knit, spin, write, anything and everything that can be made by hand seems to happen eventually. Lately the gals have been sewing their summer togs with fabrics from thrift store dresses, sheets, curtains, etc. There are also yarn recyclers, such as myself, tearing apart thrift store sweaters to knit into new garments. I use the sleeves as is to make winter pants for the tot, and unravel the trunk sections for the yarn to make matching sweaters.

The only side-effect to the enormous amount of garment recycling, locally, is that you really have to look hard in the local thrifts because they get cleaned out pretty fast!

Vicky said...

I do the whole used clothing for kids thing myself- it's cheap and I can find some unique and rather swanky pieces for nothing.

T-shirt onesie sounds very cool indeed. I'd like to see that!

If I could find used maternity wear that didn't look like it was from 1986 I would be a happy camper.


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