Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Upcycle/Freecycle/Recycle

I live an incredibly unsustainable life. My part-time home of Jackson,WY is freezing; and everyone who lives here spends a fortune creating a little bubble of warmth to get them through the winter. When I'm not there I seem to be on a plane going somewhere else, so I am certainly part of the problem. Bummer if you like to classify yourself as "green." So, one very small resolution is to limit some of the worst damage. I'm not a consumer; I don't have any interest in that Sex in the City / Best Buy kind of shopping. This can be a problem actually, because I never have the right shoes or bag for any occasion. Fabric production is one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries out there. Even "sustainable" fabrics like bamboo are mostly smoke and mirrors. The only truly sustainable alternative is buying existing fabric that in some tiny way limits the further production of "new."
I picked up these fabrics at the Rose Bowl this weekend. The polka dots are some kind of 50s ish rayon, with a great matte look, and a slubby texture. Love it! I got 4.5 yards of a fairly narrow width for $16. The green is a Hawaiian Barkcloth, with that fantastic spongy texture, 2 yards for $6. The yellow is also vintage Hawaiian, not barkcloth, but it does that that textured feel that Gertie referenced in her Bombshell class
Interestingly, the vendor had these great vintage lengths mingled up with a whole bunch of modern crap, and the modern crap was priced more or less the same. Now, I never normally would have bought these color ways. But I think that's another interesting facet of "buying old." You have to work with what you find, and what you find is probably outside of your "zone."
The last two pictures are of my first re-purposed garment. The fabric is lovely Pendleton plaid, that was salvaged from a librarian skirt I found in a Salvation Army in Santa Fe. The pattern was a 1960s mod mini that came from the same thrift. I'm really, really happy with this skirt. I made a cute little patch pocket (with flap) that I lined (the lining fabric was also salvaged from the original skirt). It is super cute, and warm, and it didn't make the world a worse place in any way. Cheers!

1 comment:

tigergirl said...

Our frequent flying is what lets us down in the green stakes as well. We only just got a reverse cycle air conditioner last year - TOH decided he couldn't go through one more 40 degree Celcius plus day without it and I didn't want one more winter without the possibility of warming our big open plan but cold house. It only gets turned on a couple of times in the winter and a handful of times in the summer, so that's not too bad.
Like you I try to recycle fabric as well and am not a fan of a shopping. Love that green barkcloth. I've got some barkcloth courtesy of my Mum giving me her stash but I'm 'saving' it for the perfect pattern :-). I read quite a while back that it's actually very expensive and sought after these days - sounds like you got quite a deal.