Tag Archives: clothing

Eight Insane Facts About Textile Recycling 

Waste not Want Not? I often get questions about how to re-purpose clothes that are too worn to be used again…. but there are MANY OTHER uses.   Here are a few basic ideas for the ripped / destroyed clothes

  1. QUILTS– cut out squares of the material, or the logo / school name and use again.
  2. Make a shopping bag. Put two tee shirts together- cut out the neckline with a deep U shape, and sleeves and sew the bottom end shut the Shoulders will be your handles and the bag will be great for groceries and soft for vegetables. And best of all, washable.
  3. Rags. You know how to do this.
  4. Stuff a pillow case with worn out clothes and use a s a dog / cat bed. Easy to re-stuff, and wash.
  5. RE-sew an item. For example: Cut a ripped man’s shirt down, and make a cute skirt for a little girl, keeping the buttons and pocket, adding an elastic waist. Make a stuffed toy, or a cloth piggy, like Ms. Oink.
  6. Contact a re-cycler. In the Bay Area we have a wonderful group: SCRAP. They gather materials to reuse, and give them away for free to TEACHERS, and sell them for a small about to consumers.

You will also be interested in these 8 Insane Facts About Textile Recycling posted by USAgain on their blog.  Great motivation to RE-USE.

No matter what side of the Atlantic you represent, the extent of personal textile waste is staggering. One battle that both Brits and Americans are losing is the battle against textile waste. Here’s why:

  1. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
  2. The consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75% of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
  3. The average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year.
  4. Americans generate almost 13 million tons of textile waste per year.  Brits generate about 1.12 million tons of textile waste a year.
  5. Even though the UK appears to generate less textile waste, One in five Brits admit to throwing away a garment after a single wear. This means that more than $127 million of clothing winds up in landfills each year after being worn once. (One in five Brits also think that light sabers exist.)
  6. One in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but only wear four of them regularly. (One in Four Americans also don’t know what nation the U.S. declared independence from.)
  7. The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
  8. Over 70% of the world’s population uses secondhand clothes.

By placing drop boxes for used clothes across the country, USAgain has saved over 480 million items of clothing from landfills, and they aren’t stopping there.

Make a change in your own life by depositing reusable clothes, shoes and household textile in a USAgain dropbox near you.

Buddha Pants

Buddha Pants, a company dedicated to making practical and versatile apparel, recently launched their signature pant, The Buddha. Made from 100% organic fabric and dyed with plant-based material, the eco-friendly “Buddha” takes into account a yogi’s day before and after the sun salutation.

Buddha Pants is committed to offering thoughtfully designed products that complement one’s way of life. Similar to harem pants, The Buddha, Buddha Pants’ signature pant, are loose trousers that are gathered at the ankle and can be easily stuffed into its pocket. The pants themselves give the illusion of a large triangular skirt but have flexible cuffs that can be pulled up on the calf to create different looks.

Inspired by my passion for yoga and the silhouette of the harem pant, I wanted to create something adaptable, a pant that was more than just another pant. We at Buddha Pants are dedicated to creating multifunctional travel-ready apparel focusing on comfort and encouraging an active lifestyle.  — said Rachel Raab,Buddha Pants founder

The Buddha is currently available for purchase on their website – buddhapants.com – and is expected to make its debut in retail locations in early 2014. These eco-friendly, multi-functional garments are 100% organic cotton, offered in unisex sizes and seven different colors.

AND they will be at the SF Yoga Journal LIVE event January 16-20- so check them out! Find them at booth #37!

About Buddha Pants

Buddha Pants was founded in Miami, Florida in December 2012 with the mission of creating a fun, comfortable, multi-functional garments for yoga lovers and enthusiasts of versatile apparel.  Our signature piece, the Buddha, are harem pants that are gathered at the ankle and can be easily stuffed into its pocket. For more information, please visit www.buddhapants.com.

Great Resource – Green America

“Biodegradable” bags, “green” bottled water, “recyclable” plastic products.

These products and more all made our editors’ list of 7 Green(Washed) Things Never to Buy Again, first published in the digital edition of our Green American magazine.

The most recent issue of our magazine explores strategies for going green on a budget, with suggestions in each spending category where Americans spend most of their money:  clothing, food, energy, and transportation.

For example, in the food category:  Do you know the top ten most cost-effective plants for your garden to save money on your grocery bill?  (Answer: Cilantro, arugula, salad mix, chives, dill, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, turnips, large tomatoes, winter squash.)

Below, we link you to more articles from the Green American.  If you’re not already a Green America member, you can receive aGreen American subscription when you join.

Here’s to smart strategies for going green on a budget,
Alisa (signature)
Alisa Gravitz,
Green America

There are many sources for information on responsible stewardship, green thinking, new activities…. this group consistently talks sensibly about what needs doing, and how we can get involved.  It’s a relief to read their newsletter and go to events that they promote. (I just get tired of reading about $250 organic cotton yoga outfits. Right?) — the editor


10 Ways to Join the Sharing Economy

What if you could get what you need for free and make some really great friends in the process? That’s the concept behind what even the mainstream media has started to call “the sharing economy”—where people come together to pool time, talent, and treasure so everyone involved can get what they need. All around the world, people are sharing their extra time and stuff, saving resourcees and building community in the process.

Want to join in the sharing fun? Try one or more of these great ideas, like #2 (Make Your Home a Pop-Up Restaurant), #4 (Bond With Booklovers), or #8 (Share Your Time).

See all 10 sharing-economy ideas »

7 Green(Washed) Things Never to Buy Again

#3 on our list:  “Green” or “Ethical” Bottled Water

What does it cost? $1.75 – $4.50

What’s wrong with it? Bottled water sends approximately two million tons of plastic to landfills each year. Even if all the plastic was recycled, it still represents a huge carbon footprint, especially when you consider how far much of this water must be trucked before it reaches its destination. Plus, plastic downcycles, meaning that you can recycle it once or twice, and then it becomes an unusable mess — which ends up as waste in landfills or the ocean.

Buy this instead: Tap water ($0). If you’re concerned about your local water quality, consider buying a water filter ($30 and up).

See all 7 green(washed) things »


A Tale of Two T-Shirts

T-ShirtThe shirt at left costs $45.95.  It was responsibly made of US-grown organic cotton by workers in California.  A similar shirt, of conventional cotton, made under more suspect circumstances can cost as little as one-fifth the price.

Tracy Ferndandez Rysavy’s article “A Tale of Two T-shirts” explores how to go green on a budget, support responsible supply chains, and still not break the bank.

Summer People and Planet Awards

Cast your ballot for three ethical-apparel leaders in our Summer People & Planet Awards.

Each of the finalists below impressed our panel of expert judges* enough to make it into the Top Ten. From recovered fabrics to wind-powered factories to strong support for workers’ rights, see what wowed our judges about each finalist when you click on their profiles below.

Then, go here to vote and reward three of these companies with a $5,000 prize to deepen their green commitment:

AtayneAtayne »
Brunswick, ME
MeheraMehera Shaw »
Chapel Hill, NC
Blue FishBlue Fish Clothing »
Fairfield, IA
Nancy's Gone GreenNancy’s Gone Green »
Framingham, MA
Earth CreationsEarth Creations »
Bessemer, AL
San Francisco, CA
Maggie'sMaggie’s Organics »
Ypsilanti, MI
RecoverRecover »
Hickory, NC
Mata TradersMata Traders »
Chicago, IL
VintageVintage Creations »
Seattle, WA

Please share this contest with all your friends who care about finding clothing not made in sweatshops.  Like us on Facebook to share our daily posts about each of the ten finalists.  Voting runs through 5PM EST on Tuesday, September 3; we’ll announce the winners shortly thereafter.

Thank you for helping us invest in the green economy and recognize the greenest businesses! For the stories of past finalists, check out our honor roll online, and cast your People & Planet votes today.

ECO CHIC Fashion Show

Reusing and reinventing clothing has been a big part of the fashion scene. Goodwill encourages this trend with the Eco Chic Fashion Show. This year’s 2010 event will be held on OCTOBER 8 in downtown San Jose. There will be several themes: “little black dress challenge” and a “mayoral design challenge” Contestants will have a budget and pull together an amazing outfit at any local Goodwill Store.

3 sewing

Goodwill Special Events Director, Susan Lucas, gets a chance to show-off her re-purposed clothing, and inspire us to stop and think before we say…. “We don’t have anything to wear”!

According to the EPA Americans throw away about 70 pounds of clothing a year per person. Clothing and textiles are helping to clog our landfill comprising about 4% of munincipal solid waste.

The Goodwill Green pages are very informative and have several hints, links, and ideas. Carpet Recycling is a great idea you can find on this page.  Here is an excerpt from Susan Lucas’ blog:

From the September 2009 Eco Chic Fashion Show Event: Join us at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

The proceeds will be used to create jobs for the disadvantaged and disabled by providing them with vocational and occupational training. In this economy, Goodwill is one of few companies actually hiring and placing people in new jobs! So consider donating a dress that doesn’t fit, a bag that you’re tired of and shoes that hurt your feet! These will benefit many people and you will be green! Simply fill some bags and drop them at any Goodwill location.

Thanks for writing off your old perception of Goodwill!

For more information contact Susan Lucas at: