Sunday, March 21, 2010

Recycled Clothing

The LA Times has discovered clothing recycling.  But I am annoyed by statistics without methodology.  On what basis did they derive this figure?
The average American throws 54 pounds of clothes and shoes into the trash each year. That adds up to about 9 million tons of wearables that are sent into the waste stream, according to the Environmental Protection Agency — a 27% increase in a mere eight years.
Coincidentally, we did some wardrobe refashioning this weekend chez BadMom. I took some of Iris' old clothes, thoroughly cleaned them with oxygen bleach and then synthrapol, then dyed them in colors to suit her cousin.  Iris often wears clothing blanks from Dharma Trading in their white, undyed state.  When they get dirty, we dye and/or paint them to cover the stains.  Because she had nearly outgrown these items, I remade them for her younger cousin.

The tie-dye guests brought some old clothes for dyeing and dyed some new clothing blanks with Iris.  Each of the three girls got a new short-sleeved smock top and a 4-tiered lined skirt.

The guests brought 3 dozen free-range eggs.  They call their house "the farm".  They have an ingenious setup with a chicken coop and a vegetable garden enclosed on all sides in chicken wire.  The chickens eat the insects and fertilize the veggies.  Home-made compost also fertilizes the veggies.  The lots in our neighborhood are too small to legally raise chickens.  But this "farm" resides in the (Beverly) hills, so the lots are large enough to support urban farming.

The eggs were amazing.  Bad Dad immediately cooked some up with faux (soy) chorizo.  It was worth delaying the commencement of the dyeing to enjoy a second breakfast. 

I will try to post pictures of some of the tie-dye later.

I am on light duties at work this month (4-6 hrs per day) due to an arthritis flare-up.  Recovery and proposal writing, not blogging, have been my priorities this month.  The good news is that I am recovering without any intervention beyond rest, twice weekly physical therapy and daily gentle exercise.

Aside:  Did I mention that the recipient of 20 of my backyard Meyer lemons presented me with a quart of home-made Meyer lemon sorbet?  Or that he promised me some Meyer limoncello next month? Or that the college friends from the past weekend brought a bag of their home-grown grapefruit and blood oranges?  I had served them apple-persimmon cake during the 33 meal marathon and they promised to freeze some Hachiya persimmons from their tree for me next fall.


  1. Sounds like you scored in the barter system this weekend!

  2. Last summer I made new blouses out of some of my clothing that no longer fit. I turned a skirt into a tank top and added fabric to two button-front blouses (that I could no longer button) to turn them into pullover tops. Now I'm regretting all the excellent de-cluttering of my closet I've done over years!

  3. I love the idea of dyeing the clothing if (WHEN) it gets stained. Although I'm jealous that you have a cousin close enough in town to trade clothing. We'd have to ship ours... probably less greener than giving them to the local Goodwill.

  4. @Alex
    No, her cousin lives hundreds of miles away. But, we bring the clothes to their grandparents' house. Both girls visit their grandparents at least bimonthly, often at the same time.

    We also camp with her cousin every summer.

  5. I've a stack of things to be refashioned. I didn't think it was anything new. Great idea to just dye over the stains.

    Love the eggs with fake chorizo (soy). Now that it is warming up here the local chickens are laying more happily.