Conscientious Threads

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 08 Jun, 2016
Clothing
For all the donating I do for clients, I find myself marveling at the ability of charities such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, National Kidney Services to absorb all the incoming materials. From my perspective, the quantities have increased dramatically. Just this past Friday, I was at a Goodwill in Oakley, Ohio. At 11:30 […] 
For all the donating I do for clients, I find myself marveling at the ability of charities such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, National Kidney Services to absorb all the incoming materials. From my perspective, the quantities have increased dramatically. Just this past Friday, I was at a Goodwill in Oakley, Ohio. At 11:30 in the morning, I pulled up to the back donation parking lot and realised all dozen bins were full, and 4 cars were waiting behind me. To Goodwill’s credit, when I went back after lunch, they had the bins under control and several more were available for use. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is a limit to how much can be accepted, and-does our throw-away society test those limits?
This year especially, I have seen a striking increase in the amount of clothing being purged and donated. To illustrate our high consumption levels, the LA Times reports that we purchase 80 million pieces of clothing annually–a whopping 400% increase from a decade ago. And a statistic regarding our disposal practices from Wikipedia states that clothing is the fastest growing component of household waste and has risen 30% in the last 5 years. High consumption and High disposal is almost always a lethal environmental combination.
I began to wonder about something I had not considered before: the idea of sustainable clothing. Can it make a difference? And what is sustainable clothing and its associated best practices?
Sustainability from a pre-production standpoint means reducing the amount of resources needed to grow textile fibers–reducing the overall use of raw materials such as water or agrichemicals that are toxic to the environment. Sustainability post-production means practicing the three Rs: reusing, recycling, reducing.
According to Wikipedia, cotton is not a sustainable crop for a number of reasons and suggests these alternatives for sustainability:
    1. Organic Cotton uses no agrichemicals
    2.  
    3. Soy fabrics are made from soy husks-a byproduct of soy production-and are fully biodegradable post-production
    4.  
    5. Hemp fabric use less water to grow and is naturally pest resistant
    6.  
    7. Bamboo uses less water, grows quickly, and is naturally pest resistant
    8.  
    9. PET plastics–recycled plastic pellets that make polyester thread–30% less raw materials than virgin polyester
Post production, one of the fastest growing industries is textile recycling. Our fibers can be repurposed and upcycled to become insulation, stuffing, and other textile byproducts. Nearly 90% of clothing that goes to charities ends up recycled. If you have clothing that is not in good condition, simply mark the bag as “scrap material” and drop off at a local charity that practices textile recycling. Other post production best practices include buying less and purchasing better quality materials that last longer or that you will love longer.
At the end of the day, we vote with our wallets; and what we purchase or don’t purchase can a difference. Here is a list of sustainable brands and stores which follow sustainable practices: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/a-guide-to-buying-sustainable-fair-trade-and-vegan-clothing/

Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
By Tera Harmon 16 Nov, 2017

For even the most novice cooks, between now and the end of the year, many kitchens are about to get a workout. We may be hosting parties, holiday meals, trying a new recipe or two, participating in pot lucks, or baking with friends and family. Would't it be great if everything we need is at our fingertips--clean and functional for when we need it?


So often the tools and items we rely on at this time of year are somewhere in the back of cupboards, sideboards, or stored on basement shelving. I recommend gathering, cleaning, and staging the items you know will be needed in the coming weeks. In last week's post ( https://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com/the-ready-made-pantry ) we talked about a well-stocked pantry for the holiday season; for now, let's focus on the items we will likely need in the kitchen and dining areas.
More Posts

Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
More Posts
Share by: