Please don’t throw it……
Waste Not Want Not
Don’t Bin it Yet!!!
‘Waste Not Want Not’ were the words I grew up listening to from my parents and grandparents. This saying probably came from the days of when their generation had to mend, re-use and make do. Those that remember living through WW2 rationing did not have much and what they did have was made to last, it had to. It is hardly surprising that when the 1960s arrived it was welcomed by a younger generation tired of doom gloom and murky brown. This generation was a free for all when it came to design and colour. These revolutionaries changed music and fashion, you could hardly blame them. War stories and austerity was not part of the future they wanted.
By the mid 1970’s I was about to get married, I was 19 years old and I could not wait to leave my Parents house full of teak furniture and safely painted walls. My father did the decorating with colours that were a hint of white thanks to Dulux who was easing my parents slowly into the new revolution of daring to be a bit different as layer upon layer was applied to wood chip paper. With new links to Europe, designers were bringing in new influences, and companies like IKEA followed bringing affordable products
I was eager to buy a new sofa and Habitat, a trendy new store for furniture and home accessories had broken into the market. I dragged my mother kicking and screaming into this whole new shopping experience. As we walked down the aisles, she poked and prodded disapprovingly at the new fabrics. To my embarrassment, she asked the salesman to turn the sofa over so she could inspect the craftsmanship. ‘This is no good’ she complained. It is made of pine chipboard and foam. It will fall apart within ten years and you will be buying another’. That was her advice.
‘Good!’ I replied, ‘I would have got tired of it by then so I will want to buy another’
Enter the new mind-set of the throwaway generation. Yep, believe it. I was there at the start. I was part of the problem
My mother could not get her head around this way of thinking. She had never bought a sofa. We had inherited one from my grandmother. My Mother was a seamstress so she was able to create new covers for it. We made do and it was lasting.
The 70’s welcomed plastic, artificial anything and textiles that were so far away from being natural we jumped up and down with excitement, burning not only our bras but our ironing boards as well. Crease free, we could not get enough of it and when the fashion changed we dumped it for another version. This was at the time called progress. How were we to know we had started a humongous pile of tat that we were going to be struggling to dispose of fifty years later. Our environment was going to be one big trash tip and we had no idea.
So why not blame the war, it has a lot to answer for. If you are a millennial be patient with us. We have created a problem but not intentionally.
Waste Not Want Not, is a range we are talking about at Daadi. As I travel I am excited to find another solution being worked on. Fabric that is called Industrial waste. Yes, I know, it sounds horrible but what we are actually talking about are the fabric print runs that have what we call flaws in the print design. These fabrics are usually disposed of as waste and end up in a landfill. These flaws we are able cut around but they are smaller runs of fabric. The ladies who are helped through the Saksham project, skilfully cut patchwork pieces and blend the pieces together. This is time consuming so we have to charge a little more but the true cost is balanced out knowing they are not adding to the rubbish tips.
Before you throw away your clothes or even give them to a charity shop, find out where they will end up. Think about cutting them up to create other stuff. You Tube is crammed with how to recycle your clothes videos. There is no excuse and yes I know you are busy, we all are. Think about your furniture too, can it be recovered.
I must say I took my Mother’s advice. I did not buy that sofa from Habitat as I was given a free one. It was old but very comfy. I wonder who is sitting on it now.