Sustainable Pass-times to Practice while Social Distancing

Sustainable pass-time and making clothes

In a rather unprecedented time, many of us are finding ourselves homebound with little clarity as to when we will return to any kind of normalcy. While this can cause a great deal of anxiety, there have been a number of stories of people finding a silver lining. For some, it's more quality time with their family. For others, it’s finally time to tackle those home projects. There have also been promising anecdotes of the positive effects staying home has already had on the Earth. No matter what situation you’re finding yourself in while we practice social distancing, we can keep in mind how our actions impact the environment. Read on for ideas to occupy your free time that is conscientious of sustainable values.
  1. Consolidating Your Closet
  2. Crafting for a Cause
  3. Turn the Trend
  4. Comfort but Make it Fashion

1. Consolidating Your Closet

This particular activity is one that we often put on the back burner. It always sounds like a great idea, but can be very time consuming and depending on what your closets look like– could be quite an undertaking. Use this time at home as the perfect opportunity to finally clean out your closet. 

Be sure to try things on and be critical of how often the garments get worn. Itchy sweaters take up a lot of space so if you don’t wear it a lot because of its texture, it may be time to part ways. Once you’ve gathered up the items you no longer wish to take up space in your closet, use a mail-in closet clean out service to sell your gently used garments

Not only can you make a quick buck, but you’re also giving someone else the opportunity to give your clothing a second life. This helps to keep clothing out of landfills, a big problem many Americans are unknowingly contributing to. Any clothing that you feel couldn’t be sold, hang on to them, as there are still alternatives to disposing of them.

2. Crafting for a Cause

Even if you’re working remotely, no longer having a commute to and from work without the option of going out, is likely leaving you with a little more time on your hands. Maybe you’re starting to feel antsy from not having much to do around the house. Finding something to make can be a great solution to boredom, and easing some of the physiological stress of the anxiousness. In this case, it can even be civically minded. Consider taking your old clothing you didn’t feel you could sell and upcycle them into cloth face coverings that can help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Depending on how much material you have available you could make enough for you and whoever else you’re living with or if you’re feeling particularly motivated, you could make a bunch. Any extras could be mailed out to friends or family that aren’t as crafty.

3. Turn the Trend

Another idea for any of your garments you felt like you couldn’t sell, you could always consider giving them an upgrade. It’s likely they are but a few tweaks away from being trendy. For example, if you had a pair of jeans that you were no longer in love with but due to any rips or tears you figured they couldn’t be sold or donated, try a bleach treatment. The process has a few steps, so this could be the perfect time to give this pair of pants a second wind. 

The trend is half bleached jeans. One leg remains the original denim color, while the other is lightened or nearly white. You’ll want to fold up the side you’d like to keep the original color to keep maneuvering the pants easier. Some people wrap that side with an old plastic bag and duct tape it along the middle seam of the pants to help protect that side from any bleach splashes. In a large bucket or in your tub, apply a bleach solution to the exposed denim. After they’ve been rinsed and dried, you’ll have very trendy pants ready for their encore.

4. Comfort but Make it Fashion

If you have a hoodie or sweatshirt you don’t wear very much anymore, a few changes to it could give you a whole new, on-point look. Matching separates. This upcycle works wonders with long or baggy sweatshirts. Using chalk or pins, mark where the sweatshirt could be cut to crop the sweatshirt. Be sure to leave the bottom half with enough material for a cozy sweat-skirt. Once you’ve made the cut, turn the skirt portion upside down. 

Many sweatshirts are hemmed and will have a perfect set-up for cutting two small holes in the front where you can fish a long shoe string, ribbon or whatever accessory you have available to make a drawstring for the waist. Some people fasten the string to a safety pin to help make pushing the string through a bit easier. Once it's through, you’ve got a set of matching sweat-separates. Extra style points if you already have dyes at home or if you use bleach to give your new outfit a tie-dye look.

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