When we treat ourselves to new clothing, we tend to get rid of some of our older items; the ones that no longer fit properly, or those that might be out of fashion. The easiest solution for most people is to just throw the old clothes away, but is that really what’s best?
No, definitely not. According to a recent study, the average Canadian disposes of 14kg of textile waste a year. That’s A LOT of clothes.
Clothing, fabrics and even shoes that are still in good condition can be exchanged, donated or sold to someone else who can use them again. You may also consider altering a garment to create a new look. But did you know that you are also able to recycle your old textiles for re-use?
Textile recyclers turn an old item (shoes, clothes or fabrics) into a brand new product. You wonder how? Here’s how fashion designer Carissa McCaig turned some used jeans into a fashionable, new jean dress.
When asked to take part in a contest to sew a couture garment out of used jeans, Carissa was skeptical at first because she hadn’t seen a jean dress yet that she actually liked. But always looking for a new challenge, Carissa agreed and made it her mission to create a jean dress she and her customers would love. She picked up the used jeans that were provided by the company Montpellier, who also sponsored the event. After spending 10 hours cutting out all the individual jeans and resewing them into a huge sheet of jean fabric, Carissa looked for inspiration in the Rococo period. She was drawn to the corseted gowns women used to wear, as well as the floral prints that were often seen in garments and paintings. Combining her love for old and new, Carissa sewed a garment that features princess seams in the front and the back of the corseted bodice, as well as an asymmetrical pleated skirt with two hidden side seam pockets. She then spent approximately 30 hours painting the dress with a white floral print pattern, and voila… out came a beautiful, one-of-a-kind jean dress any woman would love to wear.
While most of us don’t have the time (or the talent) to create a dress like this couture jean dress, WE DO have the opportunity to think about how we dispose of our clothes. So perhaps next time you find yourself wanting to throw out that old blouse, take a moment and think about some of the other options you have. For all you know you could be walking around in a brand new dress by next week.