repair

Your Beyond Repair Clothing Does Not Have to Be Destined for a Landfill

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My cousin sent me this text message the other day.

It is a good question and while there are plenty of places in the Chicagoland area where you can bring your gently used clothing, there are not so many places to drop off clothing and textiles that are longer wearable or useful.

The U.S. EPA has found that 85% of all discarded textiles (that’s 12 million tons) are sent to landfills every single year.

USAgain

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USAgain has drop-off collection bins all around the city. They accept clothes, shoes and household textiles (like towels, bedding, tablecloths, etc) regardless of condition.

Usagain chicago locations


Chicago Textile Recycling

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Chicago Textile Recycling provides textile recycling outlets and fundraising opportunities for organizations, businesses, and municipalities. They collect used clothing, shoes, and household items for reuse and recycling, resulting in a diversion of over 2.5 million pounds of waste from area landfills annually.

Unfortunately, they don’t have as many drop-off options as USAgain does within Chicago and Cook County (as in they have zero). There is a drop-off box at their warehouse in Hillside just outside the city and about 20 locations within Lake County.


Patagonia Worn Wear

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Through the Patagonia Worn Wear Program, you can return Patagonia products that are well beyond repair to be recycled it into something new, or repurposed, by bringing it to a local store or mailing it in.

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The North Face Clothes the Loop

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The North Face Clothes the Loop allows you to bring in used apparel and footwear of any condition or brand and receive a $10 reward towards your next purchase of $100 or more. Items are repurposed for reuse to extend their life or recycled into raw materials for use in products like insulation, carpet padding, stuffing for toys, and fibers for new clothing.

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Other Options:

 

So now you know that your stained and ripped clothing can be used again!

I Still Drive the Same Car From High School

When I was a junior in high school (2006), I got my first car.

It was a 1998 Toyota Rav4.

And today in 2017, I still drive that almost 20-year-old car.

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That car, affectionately named Gomez, has been the perfect car.

It got me through all 5 years of driving back and forth to school in Indiana. Gomez hung out in storage for a bit while I lived in DC, and now is an amazing city car. But since my car is so old, I don’t get concerned about any new bumps or marks from everyday street parking.

At first, it may seem a little silly that I still drive the same car I did when George W. Bush was President and when I could not legally vote. My friends’ have all gotten new cars since high school (for the most part), and my brother has gone through what feels like eight cars.

But ultimately, I think it is kind of neat that my car is still around and running.

At this point in life, I don’t need to replace Gomez. I do not rely on my car for work and am not traveling copious miles each day on my commute, but there are definitely some drawbacks to driving a car that was designed and built when I was 6 years old.

Pros of Driving My Super Old Car:

  • No monthly car payments
  • No obsession over keeping it scratch free
  • Gomez is very recognizable (that could also be considered a con)
  • Tiny SUV makes parallel parking easy
  • Can fit a lot of stuff in it

Cons of Driving My Super Old Car:

  • Probably not Is not fuel efficient
  • Probably lacking in safety technology (there are at least 2 airbags)
  • Lacking in all technology (it was upgraded to a CD player before I got it, but that serves as a reminder that it originally came with a cassette player)
  • It’s showing its age and those repairs cost $$$

gomez1Even if I eventually replace Gomez, it won’t ever be with a new car straight off the lot. A used car will work just fine.

How do you feel about driving old cars? Is it better to drive them til the end or upgrade to a more efficient model?

Jean Repair Attempt Failed

I have known for a while that my attempt at patching my jeans was failing, and yesterday they finally bite the dust.

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There is no saving these babies at this point, but since it is about to be short season, this is something I will probably put off until fall.

Have you made an attempt to repair something, but were met with utter failure?

At least I tried. I got another good 4 months out of my favorite jeans.

DIY: Saving My Favorite Jeans

My jeans always rip in the exact same place. Right in the crotch area.

In the past, I have had my grandmother patch them up for me. Sometimes the same pair would get repaired several times like the one below.

While folding my laundry last week, I noticed my newest pair of jeans (over a year and a half old) have finally achieved the dreaded crotch rip. I was not shocked or surprised. This was bound to happen eventually.

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Besides this tiny hole in a not so noticeable spot, the jeans are just fine. There was no need to fret, I was going to patch them myself!

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My sewing skills are even more sub-par than my knitting skills. I can sew buttons and seams together, but nothing this extensive (is this considered extensive?).

Now was my chance to learn a new skill that I could continue to use for years to come!

First, I needed some supplies I did not currently have in my possession.

  1. pinking shears
  2. fusible

I looked up what pinking shears cost and they aren’t too expensive, but so far I have gone my entire life not needing them, so there is no point in making that purchase now. Instead, I chose to borrow a pair from my grandmother. #vintage

After a quick trip to Jo-Anne’s for fusible, I gathered all my supplies and was ready to go.

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First things first, I cut out a patch of denim from my now scrap pair of jeans. My plan was basically just to reinforce the crotch/thigh rub area so it would not rip any further.

 

I figured sewing the patch straight into the seam would help keep the fabric strong. To help, I used fusible, which basically turns your patch into an iron-on. I have never used fusible before and figured it could not hurt my pants any further.

 

Once the patches were ironed on, it was time to start sewing and this took a much longer time than I had thought! If I had a sewing machine this definitely would have been done sooner, but alas I do not. A used sewing machine is on my wish list (hint hint).

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Sewing the patches too frustratingly long. I started this Friday afternoon and did not finish until Sunday evening, but hey, at least I can wear my jeans on Monday!

They aren’t perfect, but I think I did a pretty decent job for my first try and I know I have more to learn.

Have you ever tried to patch your favorite pair of jeans before? Do you have any better suggestions for the next time this happens to me?