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Socks: Darn Them, Don't Throw Them Away


Do you know how many socks end up in landfills every year?

11,300 tons end up in landfills yearly,
compared to just 1,710 tons in 1960.

I talk a lot about the damage of fast fashion. We all know clothing isn't garbage and does not decompose and we have options available to pass our unwanted clothing on, like donating or reselling it. But used socks? Those can't be donated and often our socks get deemed as "garbage" when there is a hole in them, so what do we do with them? Let me provide you with some solutions! 

First up if you have new or gently used socks you can donate these to your local Salvation Army or local homeless shelter. 
Please note: nothing with visible stains or holes can be donated.

Let's talk mending. This might be a skill that is intimidating to you, but you can do it! Seriously it is so easy. This newsletter is inspired by my need to mend my own socks. You can learn how to do it in the video below. You will need a thread, needle, and scissors. You can get all the supplies you will need at Walmart, Amazon, and Dollarama, but if you have a local fabric shop or craft store, please support them! 

The last solution is always upcycling and recycling. As stated in my latest Candid Copious blog post, upcycling is our future. Now let's get creative with those socks we no longer wear with some fun upcycled arts and crafts.
  • make a bird feeder: fill a thinning sock with bird seed, and hang it from a tree in your backyard.
  • turn them into dryer sheets: put a tennis ball inside a clean sock to replace those not-so-eco-friendly dryer sheets. add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil for fragrance. 
  • similar idea: use old socks to make a potpourri ball. add a ribbon at the top and throw it in your underwear drawer, near your shoes, or in that gym bag. 
  • make a cat toy: add some catnip to entertain your kitty for hours. 
  • craft with kids: you can make sock puppets, doll clothes, or even cut a hole in an old sock to help teach them to mend it.
Although clothing recycling is not yet an industry in Canada, you can make better buying choices with brands that are US based and provide recycling programs for used or damaged socks. 
  • Nice Laundry is a sock seller that provides customers with a prepaid shipping label, which you can use to send back your old socks in the same packaging your order came in. They partner with 2ReWear Inc. which transforms old socks into home insulation. 
  • Zhano is a slow sock maker, using only organic cotton and they are made in the US, but they also recycle your past-their-prime socks. They will take any socks, made from any material, you just need to ship them your socks. 
  • Smartwool specializes in wool socks for all your outdoor needs. Plus on Earth Day, 2021, they announced their Second Cut Project where they transform socks of all brands, colours, sizes, and materials into items like eco-friendly dog beds.  

Darn a Sock with Me!
Watch me mend my socks while I walk you through the steps.  

Upcycling can be intimidating, you might like you have to make a major change to the original piece, but mending and caring for our clothing is a form of upcycling.
It is keeping garments out of landfills and in use longer. 

Upcycling is Our Future, learn more about why it is the future of fashion. 
Written by Carissa McCaig

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