Trashed Textiles

I remember at the age of five travelling on a trolley car with my mother past a group of women on a picket line at a textile plant, seeing them being viciously beaten by security people. So that kind of thing stayed with me.

Noam Chomsky


RUDE Girl could not agree more with Dorothy Cosonas .  When I go down to the point of landfill to rescue textiles, destined for the garment graveyard, my eyes are seriously focused on the pile of clothes and fabrics in front of me.


Textiles in a TIP SHOP at point of landfill

I have like a sixth sense for what it is I am seeking, among the mostly fast fashion synthetics.  I scourer for natural fibre fabric, unusual print, different texture, interesting colours, country of origin, brand, quality stitching and unique design.  I will not overlook tired synthetics totally, and have picked up clothes for around the house and garden. 

I am really pleased that most of the textiles I rescue, are not of interest to other pickers.  If they were, then I would definitely not find them to rescue.  These would have been snatched up by other pickers, right?

Photos above:  Place mouse over each photo and click to get details.

I usually do not know at the time what I will be reusing the rescued garments for.  The inspiration comes during the sorting and washing process at home.  Or at a later time when I am in my studio creating.  It’s reassuring to know I have a stash of rescued garments that I can immediately revisit for reuse.

The challenge I find, is keeping this stash of garments under manageable control.  Because I make just for myself,  I find I can only wear so much that I re-create.  Once or twice a year I have an audit and decide what is to be given to to friends or donated to charity.

Beat The ‘fast fashion’ Man by wearing trashed textiles that have been rescued and revamped.


7 thoughts on “Trashed Textiles

    • There is that balance and it’s time consuming juggling it to prevent being diagnosed as a hoarder. I have a studio and spare room which helps to limit my accumulation of textiles and sewing machines and notions.

      I keep hoping that my town will hold a regular upcycling group in a dedicated room. Then I can donate some of my stuff to it. I am wishful thinking as my town is slow to engage with these sustainable craft/sewing type activities.


    • Thank you Linda, I always try to choose well. The good stuff really does stand out from the fast fashion crap. I find it hard to leave great quality there as I know that it will end up in landfill. I have seen its demise. The thrill of the find is a bit of a buzz, I agree!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s so sad what people just toss but so refreshing that these pieces are rescued by you. If only we could rescue them all. I think every community should have some sort of fabric swap place. That would be fabulous!


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