Who would imagine that a post about refashioning would derive from rubber tires? Still, I woke this beautiful fall morning to the smell of Goodyear burning in the air. Every week the tire plant here burns their excess rubber (and I think maybe has something to do with the asphalt manufacturing plant as well here - at least they smell similar LOL). Ironically, this smell greeted me with a slap in the face when I went out to my driveway only to find a flat tire on my truck. Not one to be easily discouraged, I determined that we could make do with what we had in the house today instead of heading to the grocery store as planned. And that we did.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I live and what my ecological footprint is. There are so many amazing ways that we can take small steps to stop adding to the problem of degrading resources and pollution. Toxins emitted by energy waste and man-made chemicals not only effect the environment, but us individually as well. From tire plants to car exhaust to the number of paper towels thrown out in a day, we all make an imprint on the land we live in.
I spent a good part of the day making clothes for my children and for children who would otherwise be cold this winter. One sustainable way that I do this is to only use second hand clothing, fabrics, or bedding to make clothes. Some may lift their noses at the idea of "hand-me-downs" but truly there are so many benefits to giving new life to an old garment or sheet. If you don't mind, I would love to share my love for this amazing craft with you too...
I am a member and regular contributor t the blog Wardrobe Refashion.
I took a pledge not to buy any new clothing for 6 months, and to
instead make items from my own two hands, reusing, recycling, and recrafting to create my own garments. Not only is this fantastic for my budget, but it is also wonderful for clearing out my crafting stash. In addition to that, this continues to sustain myself and my family. By honing my skills at fashioning clothes for my family, I am helping us gain independence. I give the gift of love to my family through every moment I spend working on items for them.
This also saves SO MUCH in terms of the global impact that I have on the sustainability of the environment. By using only second hand items I am saving manufacturers the energy required to make a new garment. Because almost all second-hand clothing is donated from locals, it also doesnt have to travel much, if at all, to get from "the store" (the thrift) to my home. If I were to buy new, I would be using a great deal of energy in the delivery of the materials to the manufacturer, then the delivery of the final product to the retailer, and finally the delivery from the retailer to the individual local storefront where I would then go and pick up my purchase. Even storage of these items is often more expensive retail than in a thrift store, which very often does not use air conditioning or heat. Ours also uses natural light from the windows as much as possible to save on the energy bill.
I am always floored at the beautiful items I can find. I am currently working through a stack of natural-fiber sweaters that I picked up a few months ago from the thrift store, that I am trying to recycle back into yarn to use. One sweater I did not look at closely enough when I purchased it originally and it turns out that it is one that cannot be unraveled. Rather than re-donating it, or trashing it, I turned this 100% cotton, Ralph Lauren sweater (originally 75-cents) into "new" sleeve-pants for my youngest daughter. She was so cozy running around in our yard tonight in her new sweater-pants. I hope to make a matching jacket from the body soon.
Do you create your own clothes? If so, share a link or a few pictures with me. I would love to see them, whether made with "new" or "old" materials!! :)