Oh Alele

Decrescita e Autoproduzione

Socks are forever

Socks are forever

Battle in favor of old used clothes

It is necessary:
Extend life to things, rejecting the logic of the last model.
Adopt a lifestyle that rests on the four Rs (reduction, reuse, recovery, recycling) and commit to spread it as much as possible and with all the creativity you are able in the family, among friends, in the workplace.
Treat the goods for what they are: a means and not an end.


Use all your creativity to increase the durability of any asset.

From the Decalogue for the Happy Degrowth of MdF

Are you going to throw in the trash that poor sock and his distressed colleague, guilty only of having been his companion for life? Do not do it!

Today I want to commit myself in defense of the 16 kilos of used clothes that are thrown into the garbage every year without appeal. The felted sweaters companions of long cold winters or the old t-shirts now faded do not deserve this end after having served us patients, season after season.

Unfortunately, most of us have lost the craftsmanship and crafts of our grandparents and it is therefore difficult to find someone who sews and embroiders, but I assure you that mending a hole or applying a patch is not difficult at all and it is extremely cheaper than buying new clothing, especially when we are particularly fond of the old sweater. The necessary material consists only of needle, thread and, in particular cases, of some simple accessories such as the wooden darning egg or the thermoadhesive patches; all these materials can be purchased for less than 5 euros at the local market or at a haberdashery in your neighborhood and they will last you very much, lending themselves to different uses.

To close a hole it is sufficient to join the two strips of fabric crossing them several times with the needle and the corresponding thread of the chosen color, but I assure you that it is easier to do than to say! For the famous darn sock, I recommend watching this video by QVC that explains how to mend by hand with a very simple base point. If you want to try something more challenging, like reconstructing warp and/or weft or applying a patch, you can obtain a manual of basic sewing techniques from your library or ask your grandmothers to show you how it’s done ( in this case you will be happy and they will be happy too!).

You will learn quickly and save your favorite garments from the dustbin will give you great satisfaction!

If a garment is already crumpled beyond measure, nothing prevents us from recycling it by varying its use. If you take a look at the Pinterest gallery “clothes upcycle” you will discover that you can create a pair of gloves from an old sweater, that a men’s shirt can become an apron or that a now out-of-fashion t-shirt can come back into fashion with some bead and rhinestones. Faded garments can be machine-dyed or graceful shaded with natural dyes derived from fruits and plants. Crumpled clothes can become cleaning rags or shopping bags.

This type of upcycle is very simple and can be done with children: in the library of my city we realize a creative recycling workshop where children build a shopping bag from an old t-shirt where the flaps, cut like a long bang, are simply twisted and knotted. I will post you soon all the detailed instructions, so you can make it with your children!

And to save that old sock we talked about so much? Given the period, you can make a comfortable hand warmer to cool on the radiator or in the microwave oven. You only need rice and a ribbon to close the end of the sock: insert the rice into the clean sock until you reach the desired quantity and shape and then close it with the chosen ribbon or, if it is a rather long sock, you can even just knot it; you can heat from 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave or for about ten minutes on the radiator. The tablet thus made is useful for relieving muscle pain and tension as well as for warming hands and feet numbed by the cold.

If you do not think you have enough imagination or manual skills for the upcycle, you can still give new life to used clothes by inserting them in metal containers for the collection of garments for charity that are found in many streets: most of what is sorted is destined for recovery, while non-reusable products, for example too worn, are instead directed to recycling where the fibers are recovered or the non-textile materials are reconverted. However, be aware that the 100% cotton garments can be disposed of in the wet: you must however pay attention to any elastic bands and carefully read the label of the composition.

If in this year of degrowth we reduce the waste of used clothes by at least 1 kg, we will guarantee on average, 3.6 kg of CO2 not emitted, a saving of 6.000 liters of water and the reduction of 0.3 kg of fertilizers and 0.2 kg of pesticides. I think it’s worth trying, what do you think?

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