Do you realize that 17+ million tons of textile waste ends up in landfills in America per year! Isn’t that amazing? We Americans are simply buying too many articles of clothing and disposing of them too soon. Textiles can take up to 200 years to fully decompose. So while most of the media focuses on plastic bags and straws in the ocean, there just might be a bigger problem….our landfills are becoming overrun with textiles. We need to come up with better habits of either wearing clothes longer and buying less, or doing something more sustainable with our used clothing. Here at Quilt My Shirts, we’ve always felt like a t-shirt (or any shirt) quilt make a viable option rather than throwing them away.
Many times, we take our used clothing to donation centers with good intentions of helping someone in need. While this is a VERY noble cause, I’m finding out that there are way too many donations at these places and the overstock gets sent to landfills. Our society is buying and throwing away more and more clothes each year.
Now if you’re like me, I’m not sure I can curtail my shopping habits. It’s hard to not want to buy that cute t-shirt with the Good Life graphic on it. Or how about when we’re on vacation and we just want a keepsake of the wonderful time we are having.
We live here on the coast and have about five t-shirt stores within walking distance of our shop. It is a land of vacationers buying t-shirts, so we see the action first hand. We LOVE t-shirts with great graphics and we just really need them even if our drawers are full of shirts at home (sarcasm inserted). We here at Quilt My Shirts have helped so many people repurpose their shirts into quilts but we want to go further.
Our process here is to cut out the large graphics and dispose of the plain fabric left in the shirt. While doing this, there is still a lot of waste of good fabric. Most of our customers do not request we send them back the scraps as it would not really be worth the shipping costs. So we thought of a new way to reuse even these scraps so they wouldn’t end up in the landfills.
Presently we are developing some pet quilts. We are taking the leftover sections of the t-shirts people send us and repurposing them into soft quilts for pets. Our intention is not only to help the environment with curtailing the amount of textile scraps we use in our day to day operations, but also to create a product that will be perfect for pets of all kinds AND a portion will help our our local pet rescue organization. Stay tuned for more in the next few weeks as we work out pricing and logistics for implementing these into our offerings.
In the meantime, if you haven’t had us make a quilt for you yet, now is the time to be thinking of what you can do to help the environment with your drawer full of extra t-shirts that you’re planning on disposing of. Who knows, you might just fall in love with that “have to have” shirt all over again in a new T-shirt Quilt!