Inspiring DIY projects, beauty recipes and advice to green your daily routine.

It’s Sew Easy Being Green

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in For Your Home, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Sewing tools and buttonsThis weekend I was at my boyfriend’s house and noticed his sewing kit in the dining room. I had given it to him a year ago and he told me that he uses the it all the time. I believe it because I haven’t seen him wearing a shirt with missing buttons lately.

I’m not the type to wear shirts with missing buttons and, unfortunately, I’ve been lazy about mending my clothes too. When I lose a button, stitching comes undone or a seam rips, I’ve been throwing those clothes in a box at the bottom of my closet and ignoring them.

When I got home from my boyfriend’s house, ashamed by my procrastination, I decided to attack the box. So I sat down in front of the TV with my sewing supplies and within three hours I had mended everything from pajamas to dress pants, adding 10 tops and 2 bottoms back into my wardrobe.

Mending your own clothes is a great way to reduce your consumption and your carbon footprint. In 2010, an independent project attempting to raise awareness about the “true cost” of a single, non-organic, foreign made cotton t-shirt compiled the data below.

  • Water Use: 570 gallons (45% irrigation)
  • Energy Use: 8kWh (machines), 11 to 20g fuel (land+sea)
  • Travel: 5,500 to 9,400+ miles
  • Emmisions: NOx, SO2, CO, CO2, N2O, volatile compounds
  • Toxins: 1-3g pesticides, diesel exhaust, heavy metals (dyes)
  • Import: 60 cents to $1.05 per shirt
  • Child Labor: 17 countries, 50 cents/day
  • Misc: 53-91g fertilizers

If you’re in the position of my boyfriend where you have the skills to mend but don’t have the supplies, I highly recommend the Singer Mini Sew Essentials Kit because it has everything you need for basic repairs.

If you feel like your home economics teacher failed to teach you these useful life skills, don’t worry, we have YouTube to pick up the slack and show you how to:

If you’re like me and just need a little kick in the pants to do the right thing,  here it is! Instead of going out and buying a new, blue button down shirt, sew the button back on the one you have to save water and energy and decrease pollution and child labor around the world.

Nicole knows making small changes for the greener add up over time and hopes you’re inspired to make some changes of your own after reading her articles. She focuses on easy, green, homemade personal products and green living tips for city dwellers. Nicole lives in Pittsburgh, PA and you can find her on twitter at @_nlg_.

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