With all the terrible things going on in the world I’ve been trying to make an effort to do less doom-scrolling. I’ve been reading more library books (currently: Ain’t I a Woman by bell hooks) as well as spending time reading blogs and forums dedicated to farming, permaculture and living a simpler life.
One of those sites I have been spending time on is Permies.com, and I have decided to start participating in their PEP badges. These badges are a way to practice and have your permaculture skills verified by an external body. I think of it as a way to feel more integrated into the community!
I started on my textiles badge by mending some old jeans in two ways, both patching and darning them. Darning is a technique that is frequently used in socks, where the wool threads felt themselves into the wool socks. While I do still have some wool items, I will not be purchasing it anymore and therefore are focused on mending with non-animal sourced materials. Here I darned my cotton jeans with a cotton thread, using the same principles as you would with a sock, weaving the threads in and out to form a new fabric.
This repair won’t last too long as a lot of the surrounding area is weak. It was more suited to patching, however I decided to go this route to practice the technique and see if I could learn anything that would help me do invisible mending in the future. I can always add a patch later.
I practiced patching on these jeans as well. The patch was some cotton fabric I bought years ago for an embroidery project that I never got around to finishing. I did a more visible mending on this part of the garment which I think looks pretty cool!
Doing this mending took my eyes off a screen and helped me focus on something I could control. I used my time to breathe new life into these beloved jeans, which seems a lot more productive than reading content designed to cause stress and keep us reading (and viewing ads)!
Making these wearable again also gave me the opportunity to delay purchasing a new pair. The fashion industry can be damaging to the natural environment as well as people, much of that is purposefully hidden from the consumer. I have learned more about this problem by following the work of Aja Barber. Aja sheds light on many of the problems associated with our insatiable desire for clothes as a consumer good. These jeans are from Old Navy. While they were really inexpensive in terms of money, they came with a lot of invisible cost in terms of environmental impact and harmful labour practices. Fixing these up gave me a little more time to figure out where my next pair should come from.