In our current world, the concept of "ready-to-throw" has become the norm. We live in a consumer society where clothes are often designed to be used for one or two years and then thrown away. This mentality has a significant impact on our environment and natural resources. However, it is entirely possible to resist this trend and become a responsible seamstress. How to do this, you ask? Here are five tips that will help you use sewing in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
1. Repair your clothes
The first tip is simple but effective: repair your clothes instead of throwing them away when they are torn or worn out. For many, the first reaction when a garment tears or loses a button is to throw it away and buy a new one. However, with some basic sewing skills, you can fix these little problems and extend the life of your clothes.
This is a skill that can not only save you money but also help reduce waste. Indeed, every garment you repair is one less garment in a landfill. Also, repairing can breathe new life into your clothes and add a personal touch, a new style: yours. Imagine how satisfying it would be to wear a garment that you have repaired yourself!
Upcycling is the art of taking something that is no longer used and transforming it into something new and useful. It's a great way to reduce waste and be creative. For example, you can turn old sheets into handbags or old jeans into cushions. Or even, your grandmother's old tablecloths or curtains that remind you of your childhood can be transformed into accessories for your home. A vintage and modern decoration at the same time.
This practice not only gives a second life to items that would otherwise have been thrown away, but it also allows you to create unique pieces with fabrics that you already cherish.
Also, upcycling allows you to create custom items that perfectly match your tastes and style. It's a great way to personalize your home or wardrobe while being environmentally friendly.
During sewing workshops, we use a lot of second-hand fabrics: fabrics bought at flea markets, or from your old wardrobes, or even when we exchange our fabrics. This allows for a greater variety of fabrics, textures, and colors.
3. Restyle your clothes
If you're tired of a garment, instead of throwing it away, why not try to transform it? You can cut, dye, embroider... the possibilities are endless! By restyling your clothes, not only do you extend their lifetime, but you can also give them a new look that better matches your current style.
Restyling clothes is an excellent opportunity to express your creativity and personal style. Plus, it's a great way to make your clothes unique and stand out. So, the next time you get bored with a garment, think about transforming it instead of throwing it away!
4. Keep your fabric scraps and old clothes
When you sew, it's inevitable to end up with fabric scraps. Instead of throwing them away, why not keep them for future projects? You can use them to make patchworks, padding, sewing accessories, makeup remover wipes, etc.
The same goes for your old torn clothes that are no longer possible to repair: keep the fabric if you like it, and you can use it to make small accessories like children's toys.
By keeping and reusing these pieces of fabric, you not only reduce waste, but you also always have materials on hand for your next sewing projects. It's a great way to maximize the use of your resources and minimize waste.
During sewing workshops, we always keep the fabric scraps, and they are regularly used by other students throughout the year, this is part of the spirit of the workshops.
5. Buy fabrics only with projects in mind
Finally, another tip for sewing more responsibly is to buy fabrics only when you already have a project in mind. It can be tempting to buy fabrics simply because they are beautiful, but if you do not have a specific project to use them, they will probably end up taking up space in your stash and never be used.
By buying fabrics only when you have a project in mind, this will help you avoid buying fabrics you don't need and will help to reduce waste. Plus, it will help you stay organized and not feel overwhelmed by a fabric stash that keeps accumulating.
In conclusion, by following these tips, you can not only sew more responsibly but also save money and reduce your environmental impact. Sustainable sewing does not only mean being respectful of the environment, it also means being respectful of yourself and your space. So, why not give it a try? Sustainable sewing is not only better for the environment, but it can also be a source of satisfaction and creativity. So, get your needles ready!