Sew For a Change – Recycling

The theme of August is recycling. Both in Sew For a Change and in the Reuse/Refashion/Repurpose challenge as hosted by Amy. I will combine these two.

We were challenged to find three areas in which to improve our household recycling, with tips on areas given by Alexandra. The challenge for me is that we already are pretty good at recycling our trash. We get everything picked up at home, we just do the sorting and put it in the bin and then gone! We have a good organization under our kitchen sink with bins for metal, paper, waste, plastic, cardboard and food. We take glass out pretty quickly without storing it. The kiddo knows that different trash goes into different bin. (He was all sorts of confused on vacation where we had only one bin and he had to throw his juice box in with the waste). However, most of my fabric trash ends up in the waste. No more! Here are my three challenges:

  • Recycle textile. I will give some scraps to the kids’ (yes, kids in plural, little E begins next week) preschool to use in crafts. If they don’t want it I will take it back. As for the rest I will put in in textile recycling, I know a few chain stores that have this option, I don’t know about the recycling centre as we hardly visit anymore. But my scraps and leftovers will be used somehow. I will also put up an extra bin in the sewing room so I can separate my fabric scraps from regular trash.
  • Refashion usable textiles. Yes, another textile point. Clothes I don’t wear will be donated to charity (or sold if I think I can actually make some money). Those I don’t want to donate, i.e. stuff I’ve made poorly, dirty, stained etc. I will try and make use of. I will hold onto buttons and zips for further use and try and use the fabric in a clever way. So far my Cassette nursing t-shirt (in which I nursed little E) has become leggings for little E (very circle of life), my discarded Envy dress became a beanie for little E (using a free Stoff och Stil pattern).
  • Reduce waste. Even if we have a pretty good recycling system, it is always better to reduce waste altogether as well as using what we have and what nature can give us. This has been an excellent year for blackberries so I have picked and stocked up my freezer with blackberries to use in the winter, meaning I won’t need to buy berries in the winter, I’m using jars and pots we already have and there’s no need for transport. I will also pickle all those red beets in our garden, they will hold up and again no need to buy pickled beets! To reduce my personal waste I will invest in a Mooncup, let’s hope I’ll like it. I will try to fulfill my needs with what I have (for example in order to recycle textiles I must in my sewing room separate fabrics scraps from other waste – I won’t buy anything new for this). We already use reusable shopping bags for grocery shopping, otherwise that’s also an idea to reduce waste.


Do you think my three areas are enough to warrant me 10 points? Do you have any tips regarding recycling? Can you help a mooncup newbie out?

(Oh and my life is not just about Sew for a Change. I have a few creations to blog about, but when I went to take pictures the camera batteries dies (in both cameras!). So hold on. A sundress, a Tee and a regular dress is on the way! As well as musing topics related to sewing)


5 thoughts on “Sew For a Change – Recycling

  1. these are really good challenges! i have been thinking a lot about textile recycling lately and i have bags of old clothes i need to be donated + bags of fabric scraps i need to send to recycling cluttering my sewing room. really need to take care of it! also, the mooncup is fabulous. really. especially in sweden where there is often a sink in the same room as the toilet in public places. i have had one for years and never had problems, but my tips are to keep your nails trimmed, wash your hands before wet it properlybefore putting it on. good luck!

  2. My problem with recycling fabric scraps are that I don’t know if they will actually be recycled if I turn them in. I read about a project at KTH (and a startup company) that try to recycle the fibers from old fabric and I have friend that works with something similar at Chalmers. And it’s quite hard to do it well. BUT what I wanted to get to is that most of the charity organisations (Myrorna is mentioned in the article I read) only take things that can be sold or used for charity somewhere else, and send other things to be burned in the heating system (what is fjärrvärme in English?), which will recycle the energy but not anything else. I know that in other places in Europe they collect old fabrics and use to fill seat cushions or recycle as non-woven materials, but I don’t know if this also happens in Sweden. And I have no idea about what the clothing chains do with things that can’t be sold. Must look into that.

    Also in that article I read (in Ingenjören 3/2014) was a notice that the environmental goals for Sweden is going to change and include recycling of textiles soon. By 2018 they want to collecting places for textiles that ensures that the textiles are recycled.

    I appearently care a lot about this… And know at least something.

    • From our discussion in the Facebook group I learnt that at H&M, Gina Tricot and Hemtex accept fabrics, scraps and old clothing for fabric recycling. Don’t know what they do with it though, could be looked into.

      • Good to know. I was afraid that they would just throw it away because it isn’t usable. I have a friend who works at Hemtex, maybe she knows more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s