I’ve always hated throwing away fabric. Even the little pieces. As you probably know, I have an entire Etsy shop dedicated to reusing fabric remnants! So why in the world it didn’t occur to me to recycle my fabric scraps before… I don’t know! I have no excuse! Except that maybe, just like everyone else, I didn’t really know you could! Oh I knew you could reuse fabric, and I do a lot of that. But I didn’t’ really know you could recycle it. But then I watched this video (if you haven’t seen it yet, it is worth watching!):
And it blew my mind. Zero waste. ZERO.
And then I watched True Cost on Netflix. Which is another eye opener. I recommend watching that too. It really got me motivated to do everything I could to lessen my negative impact in the fashion and manufacturing world.
True Cost is a documentary that came out in 2015, about the impact the fashion industry has on the world. According to the film, there has been a 500% worldwide increase in clothing consumption when you compare it to the 90’s. There is also a huge increase in the amount of clothing that is disposed of every year. The average American wastes 82 lbs of textiles in a single year.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 85% of post-consumer textile waste ends up in our landfills, and that textile waste makes up almost 5% of all landfill space.
But what can I do to help this??
I went on a Google spree. I became obsessed! I looked up everything I could on how to recycle fabric in my area. I know that not all of these options are going to hold up everywhere, but these ideas will at least help you get started!
With all the different people and groups I’ve reached out to about fabric scraps, I’ve developed a bit of a system in my apartment. I now have a series of containers where I separate my fabric scraps into large, small, and unusable. Once I fill up my containers, it’s time to pass them along. The unusable scraps go into a trash bag marked “fabric scraps” and get delivered to one of the thrift stores. The larger pieces go to the 4-H and Project Linus groups. And the small pieces go to the kids just learning how to sew! I have a spreadsheet complete with everyone’s contact info, and I rotate who gets the next delivery of fabric goodness.
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage firstname.lastname@example.org
"Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
- Earl Nightingale