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Respect Your Things, Part 2

I was talking to Hannah the other day and telling her I was using my April break to catch-up on errands, such as running to the tailor and cobbler to repair my clothing. Surprisingly, she had never been to either and suggested I write a post about these exciting chores. There's not much to be said. If you look in your community, you can find professionals who will replace zippers, resole a shoe or restitch a leather bag. We live in an age where throwing away and buying new has replaced repairing. But that way of life has serious repercussions. Constant demand for new "fast fashion" seriously affects the environment and landfills are full of old clothing that wasn't "respected" and created to last. (More on "respect" your things here.)

I'll to admit that this route isn't the cheapest. It's sad, but true, that a lot of environmentally better choices come with a higher price attached to them. Retailers have noticed this accessibility barrier and are trying to do better. That said, as I age, I am working on buying higher quality clothes that will stay in style and last a long time. But zippers snag, buttons fall off and heels wear down. Plus, as Hannah pointed out to me, $20 for a repair is still cheaper than a new pair of pants. You can also keep the clothes you love for longer! Especially if you're someone who's picky about me fit and/or materials. (I purchased the above shoes via Poshmark but they eventually needed some new heels. Still cheaper than buying new and I get a lot of use out of them!)

That said, you can also learn some of these skills yourself. Rather than throwing away your socks, find a darning tutorial. Hannah also has a post about patching-up pants. I personally don't have the desire, patience or talent for any of those things, and am happy to support local businesses with my money. Either way works! Also, I rarely dry clean my clothes (expensive AND terrible for the environment) or buy brand new items anymore, and that helps my budget. If I do buy new, I look for environmentally friendly option. Again, not the cheapest route, but a climate-friendlier choice. Am I perfect? No, I still fall prey to Target from time to time (can't resist a good clearance section), but those purchases are becoming rarer and rarer for me.

Sometimes I lose hope and wonder if I should just give-up. Will the world really end if I stop composting or use more paper towels? No, I alone don't have that kind of control and influence over things. However then I notice that Concord is getting hotter and hotter, and the landscape is changing, and I get inspired to do what I can. Even if that means schlepping to the tailor and cobbler.

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