‘Green’ is the new black

Commentary by Rachel Anne Spencer
Times-News correspondent

   Does your wardrobe reflect a desire to save the planet, or is it a carbon-skeleton in your closet?
   “It takes 10 times as much energy to produce a ton of textiles as it does to make a ton of glass. But, while most of us recycle glass, recycling clothes is less common,” according to care2.com.
   That’s a lot of energy for trends that will eventually fade out, so why not pursue greener garb?
   Clothes that advertise more eco-friendly production are available, but can get pricey. Crafting, donating and swapping with a friend or sibling are all excellent ways to cut down on your carbon footprint while saving money. There are many ways to update your current wardrobe by utilizing simple craft and sewing techniques.
   One of my favorite ways to recycle clothes into something new is making a purse from the seat of old jeans. You can express yourself using buttons, ribbons, fabric paint and patches, all while reusing a favorite pair of pants that you no longer wear. You also can make a mini-purse using just the back pocket and leg seams of your jeans. Jeans can be recycled into more than just cut-offs.
   I also love T-shirt quilts, pillows and even rugs. Cut out the designs you want to save and piece together for a quilt and save the rest of the shirt for making a pillow, or cut them in strips to make a rug (familyfun.com has a great pattern for a T-shirt rug).
   What could be better than a cuddly quilt made of T-shirts from school, concerts and other cool events? They’re a great way to make something that will not only keep you warm but remind you of the great experiences you’ve had — a perfect memento to make for your dorm when you go to college.
   You can find books or online tutorials for pretty much anything you want or need to make, including ways to revamp and repurpose your clothes. So whether you need some guidance adding a funky patch to a shirt with a hole in it or turning that shirt into something totally different, it’s accessible and easy to find. There’s really no excuse for not using what you have or finding some way to prevent it from going to waste. Green is the new black.

Rachel Anne Spencer is a home-schooled senior and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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