Your favorite shirt: new life when it’s beyond repair.

Although there may be some places in the world where textiles recycling exists, the sad truth is that Deschutes County isn’t one of them. The ubiquity of fast fashion combined with the lack of responsible disposal options for textiles means clothing has a large environmental impact. Once clothes are in our closet, the best thing we can do is to give them the longest life possible. (Best practices upstream of our wardrobe is a topic for another blog!)

  • Be kind to your clothing by washing it only when it’s actually dirty rather than every time you wear it. Sniff test, anyone?
  • Don’t wash in hot water — the fabrics will last longer if you use cold water.
  • Line dry (not in direct sunlight) rather than using a dryer.
  • Donate them to a clothes swap or a thrift store and pass them on.
  • Repair early! If you have a hole, patch it before it gets too big.

Ok but sometimes, holes happen that you can’t repair. And sometimes, it’s just time to say goodbye to your favorite clothes. Then what? Here are a couple of ideas:

1.) Make a patchwork scarf and a pair of mittens! Check out this one from denise made from an old pillowcase, some torn up leggings, and lined on the back with an airplane blanket. The mittens were made from an old wool blazer her husband found from the thrift store.

2.) Sew those old shirts into handkerchiefs. Seriously. Old, loved t-shirts are so excellent for wiping your poor, drippy nose. Double sided hankies are both pretty and functional: use a soft t-shirt for one side and a stronger woven shirt for the other side.