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The Norseman

The Norseman

Reduce, reuse, reimagine

Updating clothes prevents landfill overflow

Over-consumption has been a growing problem over the past few years. With the rise of online stores such as Shein, Wish, and Temu, clothes are mass-produced and made out of cheap materials that quickly fall apart. With over 92 million tons of textile waste produced every year, we must find a way to combat this problem by reusing or repurposing our clothes. 

People dispose of their clothes for a number of reasons. Whether an item is too big, too small, damaged, or simply not their style anymore, there are solutions to all of these problems that can allow people to hold on to their clothing a bit longer. 

If an article of clothing is too big and exchanging it isn’t an option, the simple solution is to alter it. The way I normally do this, since I don’t have a mannequin, is that I turn the item inside out and put it on. I then use pins to mark the clothing where I want to take it in, sew it, try it back on again to make sure I did it correctly, and then repeat the steps if necessary. Once I get the item to my desired size, I can cut off the excess fabric and even repurpose it for another project. 

If an article of clothing is too small, people can reconstruct it into something else. I have had a few shirts that were too small for me, but I really liked the designs on them. I found a few patterns online and remade the shirts into a tote bag. Now, I have a really cute bag and a conversation piece  made out of shirts and, when people compliment it, I can tell them all about how I made it. 

If my clothes get damaged, there are several ways I can fix them. If someone’s pants rip, like mine have multiple times, they can either sew them back together the normal way or add a bit of flair by using a patch. I like to accessorize my pants with patches by using fabric with a cute pattern, or even make my own patch by painting a picture or design on it. Another thing I like to do for rips is embroider a pattern. Sometimes I want more than a straight seam, so I embroider a flower or simple design over it to add a cute pop of color and make the rip look somewhat intentional. 

My favorite “problem” is when my clothes aren’t my style anymore. There are infinite things people can do to their clothes in order to make them #fabulous! I have loved several pieces that I updated using bleach to create unique designs, fabric paint to add a pop of color, or even accessorizing pieces with beads and spikes if you’re #emo like me. You can also add lace to the trims purely to make them more dainty, or, going off of the patch thing from earlier, you can add patches but just for style. 

Sometimes repurposing clothes makes them even better than when they were new because you can customize them to make them reflect your personality. A bonus is that by repurposing clothing, we can help the environment and ensure that less clothing ends up in landfills.

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Reily Dominy, Editor
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