Mend Your Old Blue Jeans and Clothes
I’ve been saving up some old blue jeans this fall, to recycle them through the Denim Drive. Then, I came across a book at the Valley of the Tetons Library, called Mending Matters, by Katrina Rodabaugh. This book details how to patch and repair your worn wardrobe, especially jeans, by hand. I got inspired—my very old jeans, now used for gardening, had five different holes in them that needed patching. Now they are ready to wear for another year of weeding! The key was just getting started.
I love the idea of mending garments more, and buying new clothes less. The author states: “When we spend time patching, stitching, darning, or otherwise fixing torn fabrics, we ultimately deepen our understanding of quality, composition, and craftsmanship.” It seems like the dead of winter, with its long dark evenings, is a perfect time for repairing some of our clothing.
Once clothes have reached the end of wearable life, they can find further reuse, cut up and used for projects such as quilts, or as dust rags.
Recycle Your Tattered Blue Jeans
Teton Valley Community Recycling (TVCR) is once again partnering with Habitat of Jackson Hole to collect used blue denim no longer suitable for wearing or resale at the Thrift Store. Through the “Blue Jeans Go Green” program, your old blue denim will be upcycled into Ultratouch Denim House Insulation, some of which will be used in local affordable homes.
The TVCR Denim Drive will take place from January 6 through February. Please bring your clean blue denim to a collection point at the Geotourism Center in Driggs (open 24 hours) or at the General Laundry Company in Victor (open 7am-10pm). This is an annual recycling program that we offer every winter, so if you miss it this year, please save your blue jeans for next winter. For more information about the recycling process, check out bluejeansgogreen.org.
Purchase Better Quality Clothing
Slow Fashion is a growing idea—it simply means purchasing fewer, more durable pieces of clothing. The textile industry is a notorious polluter and we need to become smarter with our buying habits. Identifying brands that produce well-made, long-lasting shoes and garments is key. This New York Times article has some good information.
Reuse is also an option. Friends have fun when hosting a clothing swap! There are both used clothing and thrift stores here. A note: the See & Save Thrift Store in Driggs, and the Browse & Buy in Jackson both have racks of new or nearly new garments.