As winter approached and I got ready to return to work following maternity leave, it was time to change my wardrobe around. I got out my wool winter coat and noticed that the buttons were falling off it, making it look a little worse for wear. I’m sure that most people would’ve just gone down to the high street and bought a new one, but I decided not to. I’ve had the coat for over 5 years but in honesty, there is nothing wrong with it.
We live in a throw away society. This became particularly apparant to me a couple of summers ago. A work colleague told me that her children’s t-shirts were so cheap that she didn’t bother to wash them, she just threw them away. I thought it was so wasteful. I daren’t think about what kind of conditions the poor people who made them worked in. However, she was so pleased with herself and her “bargain goods”.
This is very unlike the upbringing that my husband and I had. We both came from hard working families but we were far from wealthy. My mother-in-law Mary used the term “poor as church mice” I think that’s pretty accurate. But, that’s not say we weren’t provided for. We had what we needed.
I think that generations past have a different approach to recycling. Mary has so many books on how to make the best of things, from the make do and mend mentality of WWII. If something breaks or wears it was repaired (unless it was well and truly past repair!) I hope that in some ways we are continuing to do this. I hate the idea of waste. So, back to the winter coat.
I think that buying things cheaply and throwing them away can be a false economy. My coat was £60, made well of good materials and it’s lasted. Similarly with shoes, we use our local cobbler. But I think that too is a rarity. I don’t think that it’s an issue of money, although I’m not the kind of person who will willingly throw money down the drain (tight-fisted Yorkshire folk). Also it’s not always worth repairing something if it’s going to cost more than buying a new one.
When I feel that the coat is past wearing, I’ll give it to my sister @BexCooling who’ll recycle it. She’ll make it into felt and then use it in one of her creations. Just like she made my husband’s old jumper into a nappy bag when my baby was born.