1000 Flowers for the Planet - #150 Repair Clothes
With clothes being so inexpensive these days it’s very easy to decide to toss away an item of clothing that may simply need repairing. However, the actual ‘cost’ of that piece of clothing is far greater than many people stop to consider. If it was really cheap in the first place, it’s possible it was made with extremely cheap or even slave labour. That bears an incredibly serious human cost.
A second cost is to the environment. Much of our clothing is made from synthetic fibres these days, and when put into landfill does not decompose. Wool, a natural fibre, does break down but causes methane. Tonnes and tonnes of clothing is put into landfill each year (one million tonnes in the UK alone – how much must it be worldwide?!). Much of what we throw away could be repaired to continue it’s useful life. This is one of the arts our grandparents knew but which younger people are not bothering to continue – the ability to repair and renew. Whilst it has been very nice indeed to see a resurgence in home sewing this past decade, possibly due to the Global Financial Crisis, there is still the idea that patched or repaired clothing is unacceptable. But we should consider it an opportunity for creativity, find a fun way to make the necessary repairs and do our bit for the planet.