Re-loved by Matryoshka
Let’s rock it today!
Did you know that in 2016 it was calculated that every resident of Munich throws away 15 kg of clothes a year? The UK could "boast" 30 kg per year per citizen, and the United States 36 kg per person.*
36 kilos of unloved garments. Per person. Annually.
I tried multiplying it by 327 167 434 people (data from 2018**), but the calculator in my phone first denied cooperation, and finally I got the value of 11 778 027 624 kg only after releasing the vertical screen lock.
Why so many numbers and why do I multiply and drag on this numerical vibe? Well, for it to strike you the way it has struck me. In my post about Saturday excavations, I wrote about my wardrobe and my family wardrobe being supplied mainly with second-hand clothes for quite a bit of time now. Somewhere at the back of my mind, there floated some thought formations about recycling and the protection of the planet, but let’s be frank, the hunter's streak was firmly in the foreground (as in hunting the treasures), accompanied by the subconscious desire to stand out in the crowd (to wear something different from what is on offer in mainstream outlets). But I must admit with my hand on my heart that I was completely unaware of these terrifying numbers. Of the magnitude of soaring consumerism.
I absolutely understand the craving for new clothes. After all, humans grow, put on weight, lose weight, fashions, tastes or needs fluctuate, but do they really need to be as new as with a brand-new label on?
Perhaps, when strolling to the shopping mall it would pay to have a vague recollection of the heaps of wasted clothes per person, and reconsider the necessity of the fifth pair of jeans in the wardrobe? Perhaps, the four abandoned, disused and disliked pairs can be hauled to a seamstress or a friend who is comfortable sewing and remaking, so that they would get a new, fashionable lease of life, fitting the requirements of the moment? (I’d hate to overdo with the preaching tonality, but I can’t help mentioning yet one additional benefit, which would be the survival of such niche professions as tailor or shoemaker?).
I am far from criticising other people’s choices, as they may not want, like or know how to wear second-hand clothes. But what would you say to giving your clothes a second life? To act like the whole world of fashion, which travels in circles, returning to what has already been and attaching a new twist to it? Perhaps the T-shirt that has already lost its vogue will eagerly adopt a cool addition sewn on its dreary demeanor, maybe the old, stained sweater is in need of an embroidered knick-knack, and the torn jeans may be patched kintsugi-style?
I have recently started ordering Godzuki's chest of drawers. I put away clothes that he would no longer wear (either because he is growing at an alarming rate, although his brother is a dozen years older and is also growing like a weed, or because he is a fat dumpling and fails in his attempts to negotiate the width of garments). Not a single piece of clothing had been bought by me. Either they had been worn by other children, or (individual pieces) were gifts. And at that moment I realized the following:
There are items which he did not wear even once. Because he didn’t make it on time (how many had been unworn and passed on to us? I do not know, but probably a lot).
His clothes are worn for a month. And this an optimistic calculation. Some maybe longer. Just a bit and they are few and far between.
If he wore them for a month, then in a year, a single set of rompers, if organised well, could be worn by twelve children. Because of course, it is not the only set, so in a month it is washed no more than a few times (even if the baby is changed several times a day).
And then questions arose:
Since most clothes are labelled as "pure cotton", "bio", "eco", they are well made, so why should they not be used for a long time?
I know that a moment comes when vegetables and fruit enter the table, the unwashable patches rage from left to right, but maybe that's when it's worth sewing, embroidering or painting?
And why should I not do this, if I like embroidery, I want to look for gems - maybe I will be able to, even on a micro scale, but still push on this circle of renovation?
This is a pioneering item that Godzuki failed to put on, because the climate and the season favoured long sleeves, and which during the transfer must have caught on something and it ended up with holes. It may as well be converted into a cloth or thrown away.
But with exactly 2 hours and 43 minutes of effort, it can also be given sweet colours of a rainbow.
Clothes and baby-clothes, as well as items saved from oblivion on Saturday (and not only) digs will be available on Etsy.
The price will cover the materials and my time. You may help me to give up on my office job that took 3/4 of my day and let me be at home with my family and do what I love and what gives me great pleasure. But these are the benefits of an individual.
Together, we will reduce the number of these kilograms of unloved leftovers.
We will start the chain of forwarded garb (by the way, it could be an interesting project to trace how many people have used a given item ... maybe it is worth trying with a tool like # on Instagram?).
I would like to here and now declare that 10% of my income from the sale of items tagged Re-loved by Matryoshka (yes, I know that pre-loved is a workable phrase, but it refers to second-hand things themselves and I want to "love" again (as indicated by the prefix) I make them pre-loved rather than discarded) will be passed on to an organization who takes care of recycling (please give me a moment to find the one that meets my requirements).
And a recommendation. When searching for articles on recycling, upcycling, numbers, methods and organisation, I came across an article http://trashisfortossers.com/how-to-recycle-old-clothing/ , in which links to organisations dealing in textile recycling (e.g. shoes or underwear) are nested. Most of them operate in the US (good for you, US!), But some links refer to re/upcycling projects that also exist on the Old Land (e.g. Project H & M, Do not Let Fashion Go To Waste or The North Face, Clothes the Loop).
Kintsugi [(Japanese: 金 繕 い, literally, repair with gold) Japanese technique and the art of repairing broken ceramic products, consisting of combining elements with lacquer with the addition of powdered precious metals, such as gold, silver or platinum (less frequently added there was also copper and bronze.The final result is the reconstruction of the damaged object and additional decorating it with veins of precious metals.The technique of kintsugi is labour-intensive, which is why usuallyitems especially important or liked by the user are subjected to repairs. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi)