Art to wear

LogoI grew up on the Pacific coast of Canada with a deep appreciation for the art of the Indigenous people of that area. Four years ago, I shared the story of the beautiful hummingbird ring made by Haisla artist, Hollie Bear Bartlett, that hubby gave me for Christmas.

This Christmas, I received some more wearable Pacific coast art!

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The cozy, reversible wrap, was a gift from the Vancouver branch of our family; our oldest son, his wife, and their two sons. A product of Native Northwest, it features the work of Coast Salish artist, Doug Horne. You can probably see the whale motif best in this photo. Look for the rounded head, the toothy mouth, and the blowhole on top.

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In the stories of the Northwest Coast, the killer whale, or orca, is associated with strength, dignity, prosperity, and longevity.

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100% of the art featured on Native Northwest products is designed by Indigenous artists and used with their consent. Artist names and cultural affiliations are acknowledged on all packaging and the artists are paid in fees and royalties.

In addition to my beautiful wrap, hubby and I received two Native Northwest masks from another family member. Here, I’m wearing the eagle design by Haida artist, Roger Smith. Eagles are associated with guidance, hope, healing, and the pursuit of freedom.

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You can easily see the tentacles on Ernest Swanson’s octopus on the mask on the right. Swanson comes from a long line of established Haida artists. The octopus is respected in the Northwest coast culture for its ability to adapt to change. The raven mask on the left, by well-known Tsimshian artist, Roy Henry Vickers, is one that I purchased when we were in Vancouver in October. It was produced by Oscardo, another company that partners with Canadian and Indigenous artists and pays royalties for each product sold. The raven is an important figure in Northwest coast art and mythology. Known as a trickster, he has the power to transform both himself and other beings. He can even change animate to inanimate, and vice versa. Hopefully, when I wear the mask, he transforms Covid into something harmless!

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Perhaps this is a good time to talk about the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. Cultural appropriation involves adopting an element of another culture without respect for its meaning or significance or with the purpose of exploiting the culture for personal gain. Appreciation, on the other hand, involves a desire to learn about another culture in order to broaden one’s perspective and understanding. It also involves fair compensation and giving credit where credit is due. That’s why it’s so important to me to learn the meaning behind the symbols that appear on my wearable art and why I appreciate the fact that companies like Native Northwest and Oscardo credit the artists and pay royalties for their work.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the stories behind the symbols and creatures that appear in the art of the Pacific Northwest, the book Understanding Northwest Coast Art by Cheryl Shearar is an excellent resource.

One less cancer!

It’s been several months since I wrote an update about my health which is usually a good thing because it means that there’s been nothing new to report. This week saw something very big happen though! Before I get into that, let me begin with a bit of history for those who are new to the blog.

In the early fall of 2013, I was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer (NETS) which is incurable, but often treatable. Exactly seven months later, a second completely unrelated cancer was found in a my left parotid (saliva) gland. Treatment on the first cancer was halted while that one was removed surgically and followed up with thirty radiation treatments. Once I’d had time to heal from that, treatment on the first cancer resumed. I entered a clinical trial that involved 12 radioisotope treatments (PRRT) over a period of approximately five years. Each of these treatments left me highly radioactive for a week, but I responded well and there was some shrinkage of my tumours. In the fall of 2018, toward the end of that regimen, scans detected something suspicious in my thyroid gland which eventually proved to be yet another unrelated cancer. Since only a small percentage of papillary thyroid cancers are aggressive in nature, the decision at that time was to watch and wait. My body had been through enough and we could afford to give it time to heal before deciding how to address this latest discovery.

Skipping ahead three years to last fall, my neuroendocrine cancer continued to be stable. In fact, 20 months after my last PRRT treatment, I was still experiencing some decrease in tumour size. I was feeling great and able to live a normal, active life. Though there had been no change to the thyroid cancer, we decided that the time had come to remove it rather than taking a chance on allowing it to begin growing or spreading.

Then began the long wait due to Covid hospitalizations delaying surgeries! Finally, on Thursday morning, the same amazing surgeon who did my previous neck surgery removed my thyroid. I woke up very early that morning with two distinctly different kinds of cancer and a few hours later I had only one again! It’s taking awhile for the reality of that to truly sink in.

After an overnight stay in the hospital, I’m home and feeling remarkably well considering. I’ve needed nothing more than Tylenol for pain which is such a blessing as heavy duty pain killers make me nauseous. My neck feels a bit like someone held me in a headlock for an extended period of time which is probably pretty similar to what happened during the 3.5 hours of surgery! I have a very husky voice as the result of some difficulties with the breathing tube, but that should gradually heal over the next couple of weeks. I had a super good sleep last night and now I’m just going to lean back and take it easy for a few days! During the first week of March, I’ll be back in the city for a follow up appointment with the surgeon as well as CT scans to check on the neuroendocrine cancer. In the meantime, I’m just rejoicing over having one less cancer!

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That skirt again

LogoThree weeks ago, I shared this skirt with you. It was one of my most recent thrift store finds. One of my personal fashion rules is that everything in my closet should be able to be worn at least three ways, so I’ve been playing around with the skirt and looking for other things to wear it with. Today, we’re going to look at two combinations that I tried and discuss why I think one works better than the other.

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First, I tried the skirt with this turtleneck sweater that’s been in my wardrobe for many years. The colour worked, but I felt frumpy. That definitely wasn’t a look I was going for! But what was the problem? The sweater is a bit bulky and very straight. I don’t have a girlish figure and the shapeless sweater emphasized that. It made me look thick in the middle! I tried adding a long necklace and belting it at my natural waist, but I still felt frumpy, so this look was a no go for me.

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I think this look is much better. The V neck, the shape of the sweater and its shirttail hem give me a more streamlined look. The necklace and the glimpse of navy at the neck draw the eye away from my midsection and toward my face.

What do you think? Do you agree with my assessment?

I meant to have hubby take a close-up shot to show you the jewelry I was wearing, but I forgot, so here they are.

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I’ve had the necklace for about 20 years. it was a gift from a very dear friend who lost her battle with breast cancer 15 years ago, so it’s very special to me. The cameo earrings are my latest purchase from cabi. Aren’t they exquisite? I felt a bit like I should be walking around a heritage house or maybe a stone castle instead of my 1980s bungalow!

I’m a Christian feminist

I’m a Christian feminist. Yes, there is such a thing and no, that f word isn’t an obscenity.

The label may not be a familiar one, but Christian feminism predates well known secular feminists and activists including Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem. There is, in fact, a long history of Christian women devoting themselves to fighting for the status of women, and the right of women to vote, to own property, and to defend themselves in a court of law against rape and domestic abuse. Women like Nellie McClung who, based on her understanding of God’s intention for creation, together with Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby and Louise McKinney, launched a legal challenge that would pave the way for women to be declared “persons” under law and to participate equally in all aspects of life in Canada. Thankfully, theirs is a rich tradition of pro-life feminism that continues today.

Within the Christian church, there are two schools of thought regarding the roles of men and women. Complementarians believe that men and women, though equal in worth, are meant to have distinctly different roles. Egalitarians, while agreeing that men and women are equal in worth, believe there should be no gender restrictions on what roles they can fulfill. Marriage and ministry are the primary points of disagreement between the two viewpoints.

When we first married, I was a baby Christian. I tried to be the submissive wife that my husband had been taught was his due simply because he was born with a Y chromosome and an extra appendage. It didn’t work. He wasn’t a good leader and, truth be told, I wasn’t a good follower. All the while, I wondered why God would want me to submit to a sinful man. Then I realized that He didn’t. We were meant to be partners, submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21) with God as the head of our household.

But what about Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18, verses that exhort wives to submit to their husbands? We can’t simply ignore portions of scripture because they make us uncomfortable or dismiss the parts we don’t like. Sometimes we have to grapple with scripture. We have to understand the context and the time in which the words were written. We have to dig deep and seek to understand the principles being taught and then figure out how to apply them in our time and place.

“It’s dangerous to cherry-pick a few stand-alone verses, particularly when they are used as a weapon to silence and intimidate, effectively benching half the church… We can’t read letters written to specific people with specific situations in mind in a specific context and then apply them, broad-brush, to the whole of humanity or the church or even our own small selves.”  Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist

These select verses telling wives to submit to their husbands line up with the Greco-Roman household codes that were part of Pax Romana law at the time and in the place that the apostle Paul was writing his epistles. They were the law of the land at that time and, as in Romans 13:1-2, Paul is telling his readers that “everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities.”

Interestingly, just four verses after Colossians 3:18 instructs women to submit to their husbands, verse 22 tells slaves to obey their earthly masters. While wives must submit is a core teaching in most Christian churches today, no one takes that verse literally and suggests that slavery is actually a godly practice. I jokingly respond that if I have to submit to my husband, I also want my slave!

In addition to slavery, which is never actually prohibited in the Bible, the church has rightfully done away with many Biblical practices including polygamy, the buying and selling of daughters, stoning, the requirement that baby boys be circumcised, and many other ancient practices that were once culturally acceptable. Gender inequality is just one more example of an injustice that we need to let go of.

Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that any of the gifts of the Spirt, which include teaching, pastoring, prophecy, evangelism and leadership (Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12), are gender specific and yet many Christian churches today exclude women from these roles. Sadly, in spite of the fact that there are numerous examples of women leading, teaching, ministering, and prophesying in scripture, patriarchy is alive and well in many churches today. This is clearly contrary to Acts 2:18 which says “Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” Paul himself says in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I served on the board of our previous church for seven years, but in our present church I would not be allowed to because I’m a woman. I’m okay with me not being on the board, but I’m not okay with half the church being denied full opportunity to use their God-given gifts simply by virtue of being female and I’m not okay with a church board not having the benefit of the female perspective. The very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible makes it abundantly clear that God created male and female in His image and gave THEM dominion over all that He had made.

According to Genesis, God did create Adam first, but He also said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” The original word translated in English Bibles as helper or helpmeet is ezer, a word used twenty-one times in the Old Testament: twice in Genesis for the woman, three times for nations that Israel appealed to for military aid, and sixteen times for God Himself as Israel’s helper! God created His daughters to be ezers, strong and resourceful partners for His sons. He also makes it clear that in relationship, they are to become one. That’s partnership, not patriarchy! When a woman is held back, hushed up, minimized or lessened in any way, she is not free to walk in the fullness that God intended for her as His image bearer, His ezer.

“When half the church holds back – whether by choice or because we have no choice – everybody loses and our mission suffers setbacks.” Carolyn Custis James, Half the Church

So what do I make of 1 Corinthians 14:35 which says “If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”? Again, if we were to delve into the historical context for this verse, we would find that it was written in direct response to disruptions that were occurring in the Corinthian church at that time. The underlying principle is not that women 2000 years later should be forbidden from speaking in church, but that a church service ought to be orderly, not chaotic, a topic that Paul actually begins to address at the beginning of chapter 11.

And what about 1 Timothy 2:12 “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must be silent.”? Again, Paul’s restriction was given in the context of a personal letter to Timothy giving advice about a specific issue concerning false teaching that had arisen in the church at Ephesus. There is no suggestion that he was establishing church policy for all time. Neither is there any mention of this in the rest of Paul’s writings or elsewhere in the Bible. As has already been mentioned, there are clear examples elsewhere in scripture of women teaching, prophesying, and taking leadership roles.

So why do I, a Christian feminist, stay in a male-dominated church? First of all, there aren’t a lot of options in our small community. Fortunately, however, there are ways that I can use my spiritual gifts of teaching and faith within the confines of a patriarchal setting and I’ve always been comfortable worshipping with genuine believers who don’t see eye to eye with me on all matters. I also believe that God has placed me behind enemy lines, so to speak, for a reason. Though it likely won’t happen in my lifetime, I can pray for change and speak for justice for the women of the future. I may not be allowed to preach from the pulpit, which I don’t feel called to do anyway, but I can speak the truth, as I know it, when opportunity presents itself and I can certainly preach it from my keyboard!

For further reading on this topic, I highly recommend:

  1. Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women, Carolyn Custis James
  2. Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, Sarah Bessey
  3. The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, Beth Allison Barr
  4. A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Rachel Held Evans

This is, of course, a controversial topic. I invite dialogue in the comment section, but I also insist that it remain a safe and respectful place for the expression of differing viewpoints and experiences.

Must haves for 2022

LogoThe internet is filled with lists of fashion items that every well dressed woman “must have” in her closet. Though I have neither, most agree that we should have at least one white button up shirt and a little black dress. Today, however, for my first fashion post of the new year, I want us to look at a completely different list found in Colossians 3:12-14.

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Whether you work from home in your pjs, wear a uniform each day, dress to impress in a corporate boardroom, or don PPE to care for the sick and dying, you won’t go wrong if you clothe yourselves in these six items.

When the young mother in front of you holds up the line in the grocery store while she fumbles in her purse for her wallet and tries to hush her crying toddler, practice patience. Have compassion for the cashier and offer her a word of kindness when it’s finally your turn at the till. When a friend, overwhelmed by the world that we live in today, posts another negative and poorly informed tirade on Facebook, be gentle with your response. When someone at work offers constructive criticism, accept it with humility and consider whether or not they might be right. Show love by listening to another’s story and acknowledging their struggles or by doing something unexpected for someone else without expecting anything in return.

Even if your smile is hidden behind a mask, your beauty will shine through for all to see when you clothe yourself in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love.

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One Word for 2022

For the past few years I’ve chosen one word to inspire or guide me in the new year as well as a scripture verse to go along with it. There’s actually a whole #OneWord365 movement on the internet urging members to choose a word to focus on every day, all year long; a word that sums up who they want to be or how they want to live.

Much has been said over the past 22 months about how the Covid-19 crisis has robbed us of our freedom. Thinking about that led me to my word for 2022.

Freedom

Interestingly, of the 165 people worldwide who have registered their One Word for 2022 online so far, I’m the only one who chose freedom! I’m a tribe of one!

The Bible verse that I chose to go with this year’s word is a good transition from last year when my word was TRUTH.

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

So what is freedom? Oxford Languages defines it this way:

  1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint
  2. absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government
  3. the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved

There are really two kinds of freedom, freedom to and freedom from. There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has, at least temporarily, curtailed our freedom to travel, to gather in large groups, to celebrate special moments with those we love, to enjoy many of the activities that we once took for granted, and so on. Though it’s difficult to be optimistic with the Omicron variant running rampant, I do hold out hope that some of these freedoms might be returned to us before this new year comes to an end.

As I settled on freedom as my One Word for this year, however, it was actually freedom from that was at the forefront of my mind. While I’m enormously thankful that we, in the western world, are for the most part free from the kinds of oppression that are common elsewhere, I was thinking on a more personal level. For many years, I suffered from what has been identified as betrayal trauma. As a result, I clung to a root of bitterness that gave me a sense of stability. I was afraid that if I let go and let myself trust again, I would be completely blown away and destroyed. Several months ago, as God began to gently loosen my grip on that root of bitterness, I pictured it this way…

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For some of us, art can be a creative and healthy way to deal with trauma. My daughter, whose own journey toward freedom included an art therapy course, illustrated the words of American author and activist, Glennon Doyle, in this beautiful expression.

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Regardless of how confined we are by the present health restrictions or those yet to come, I want to live 2022 in the fullness of the freedom from that I have finally found! I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t also point out that true freedom is found by surrendering our lives to the almighty Creator of the universe. Galatians 5:1 tells us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” and 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Have you ever chosen a word to inspire or guide you in a new year? What would your one word for 2022 be?

2021 fashion shopping review

LogoAs I’ve done for the past few years, I once again kept a list of all the clothes, footwear, and accessories that I bought over the past year so that I could analyze my shopping habits and establish goals for next year. I started doing this because I wanted to be more intentional about wardrobe development and because I wanted to focus on becoming a more ethical shopper. Hopefully, I’ve made progress in both these areas.

Let’s begin by looking at my fashion shopping goals for 2021 and see how I did.

  • I will continue tracking my purchases for at least one more year so that I can review and evaluate my shopping habits again a year from now. Done!
  • I will continue to buy things that I need and items I love that work well with what I already have. Mostly successful. Two items have already been returned to the thrift store though. After wearing one of them a couple of times, I realized that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The other, a pair of sandals, ended up being quite uncomfortable when worn for more than a few minutes. 
  • I will continue to experiment with new ways to wear what I already have. Done!
  • When considering a purchase that was made in China, I will attempt to find a suitable alternative made elsewhere. Fairly successful. Only three of the fourteen new items that I bought this year were made in China. Read more about why I’ve made this a personal goal here and here.   
  • When adding to my closet, I will consider five adjectives that begin with C… classy, confident, comfortable, casual, and creative. While I don’t consciously think about these adjectives as often as I used to, purchasing and wearing clothes that say these things about me has become habit.  
  • I will continue to write a Fashion Friday post each week. Done!  

With the pandemic continuing throughout the past year, shopping trips were few and far between. That, combined with the fact that I live in a rural town with a population of just over 800 people and no clothing or shoe stores, made it very easy to limit my 2021 purchases. Let’s take a look at a few stats.

  • I bought a total of 28 items
    • 18 garments
    • 6 accessories
    • 4 pairs of footwear (shoes, boots, and sandals)
  • 14 items were thrifted and 14 purchased new
  • I paid full price for only 4 items
  • I spent a total of $582.38 CAD or an average of $48.53 a month
  • The most expensive item that I purchased was a pair of Asics running shoes that I paid full price for ($159.99)

The six goals from last year, mostly unchanged from the year before, will continue to guide my fashion shopping for 2022, but I’m adding two more.

  • I will strive to add more colour to my wardrobe.
  • I will be more selective and intentional about the thrifted items that I buy. A bargain is only a bargain if it’s something that you’re actually going to wear!

And now a few of my favourite fashion purchases of 2021. They’ve all appeared on the blog before.

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The Uniqlo denim shirt, purchased last spring, quickly became a workhorse in my wardrobe and was one of the six items that I wore exclusively for an entire month earlier this winter.

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The Cabella’s utility jacket that I bought at a garage sale was one of my best second-hand purchases this year.

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I stepped a bit outside my fashion comfort zone with this thrifted outfit, but both the dress and the boots have become favourites.

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And finally, the gentlewoman blazer that I purchased earlier in December. Judging by the number of you who checked the link when it first appeared on the blog, I wasn’t the only one who loved it. Now it’s on sale for a fraction of what I paid for it!

And finally, with just a few hours left in 2021, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! Hopefully 2022 will be a better year for all of us.

All dressed up and nowhere to go

Prior to the pandemic, this was the time of year when I shared the outfits that I wore to various Christmas events. Now, for the second year in a row, there have been no such events to attend. No parties, no dances, no reasons to dress up! 

As I mentioned last week, I’m not a girly girl, but I do like to dress up once in awhile. On a recent visit to our local thrift store, I even bought a skirt. It seemed a bit daft considering the fact that I’ve nowhere to wear it these days, but I loved the richly patterned fabric and at $2.50, what did I have to lose? 

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We haven’t attended church in months, opting to participate online instead because there have been numerous cases of Covid amongst the congregants and we’re aware of several who are not vaccinated. In spite of the fact that we were only going as far as the living room couch to worship, I decided to wear my new skirt last Sunday. 

No, I don’t usually wear boots in the house, but for the photos, I tried the skirt with a couple of different pairs. I think I prefer it with the tall pair, but both would work. The skirt has a wide elastic waistband which makes it super comfortable and I wore it over leggings for warmth on a cold winter day. I also wore a shirt and sweater that pick up colours from the skirt. Both are from previous seasons of cabi and have been shown on the blog before. 

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I have no idea how old the skirt is, but I suspect that it might be a vintage piece. I have three reasons for thinking so. 

  1. The only evidence of the brand that I can find online is other vintage pieces being offered for sale. 
  2. It was made in the USA. While a limited amount of clothing is still made in North America, the garment industry began moving production to Asia in the 1960s and most of what has been bought more recently was made there. 
  3. While the paisley pattern made a brief comeback in the early 2000s, it had it’s heyday in the mid to late 1960s. 

And now, a very Merry Christmas to all my readers! I’ll be back next week with my annual fashion shopping review. 

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Gentlewoman blazer

As a child, I was a tomboy. I was happiest climbing a tree or playing barefoot on the beach. Pink and frilly were never my style. Now, six decades later, I still prefer blue jeans and flat shoes over more feminine garb.

In her book, Style Forever: the grownup guide to looking fabulous, blogger and freelance journalist, Alyson Walsh, calls the boy-meets-girl, menswear inspired look Gentlewoman Style. Katharine Hepburn and Diane Keaton immediately come to mind.

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Last weekend, while hubby finished the last bit of his Christmas shopping, I enjoyed an hour simply browsing in the mall. That’s when I found my perfect gentlewoman blazer. At first, I hesitated to buy it because we’re still not going out much and I wondered where I’d actually wear it. After pondering for a bit though, I went back and bought it and I’m very glad I did. I’ve already worn it twice!

Casual, yet sophisticated, the open, tunic length blazer can easily be dressed up or down. Here, I’m wearing it with a column of navy made up of dark wash jeans and a silky blouse. Since I was about to go out and we have lots of snow, I’m also wearing my tall brown boots.

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The timeless houndstooth pattern means that this is an item that will likely continue to be part of my wardrobe for a long time without looking dated. It’s easy to layer and very versatile, so I look forward to trying it with many other pieces from my closet.

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I added a feminine touch with dainty gold jewelry. I’ve had the necklace since the early 1970s and, until recently, hadn’t worn it for a very long time. I’ve also had the earrings for twenty years or more!

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While the blazer might be too long on a petite person, I’m 5’8″ and I love the length. The ultra soft knit fabric has plenty of stretch making it very comfortable and I like the oversized pockets. The jacket is unlined, so it’s not too heavy or too hot and the ultra soft knit fabric is machine washable. Made in Bangladesh, it definitely ticks all the boxes for me and it’s even on sale this week!

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What to do with worn out clothes

LogoAfter a full month of wearing only six items from my closet, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting dressed this week! In fact, I’ve worn something different every single day!

As promised last week, I also went through my closet, tried on a lot of things, and put aside a few to be donated. I usually do this twice a year when I switch my closet from summer to winter and then back again in the spring, but after a month of not missing some of the items in my closet I knew that a few more could probably be moved out.

This exercise led me to think about the different things that can be done with clothing that we no longer want or need. Often, the obvious answer is to donate them or consign them so that they can be enjoyed by someone else, but what about those items, including sheets and towels, that are too worn out to be donated?

A conservative estimate is that clothing and textiles make up 5 to 7% of what occupies landfills globally. Many believe that this figure is closer to 12%. The average American citizen reportedly throws away 70 pounds (31.75 kg) of clothing and other textiles each year. The figures are probably similar in other first world countries. I’ve never weighed my wardrobe, but 70 pounds of clothing sounds like an awful lot to me! What can we do to keep this fabric waste out of the landfill?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Cut them up to use for cleaning rags. Towels and sweatshirts are particularly good for this purpose.
  2. Some thrift stores do accept worn out fabric that can be cut up and sold as industrial rags.
  3. Take advantage of the H&M Garment Collecting programme. Simply bag any unwanted clothes or textiles, by any brand, and in any condition, then take them into an H&M store and hand them to a cashier. In return, you will receive a thank you voucher to use toward a purchase. Anything that is still wearable will be sold second-hand. Textiles that are no longer suitable to be worn will be turned into other products and those that can’t be used in any other way will be shredded into textile fibres that are often used as insulating material. Several other brands including The North Face, Zara, Patagonia, Levi’s, and Uniqlo have similar programs. 
  4. Check with a local animal shelter. Many will take old towels, sheets, and other soft or fuzzy fabrics to use for bedding.
  5. Compost natural fibres. Remove attachments such as buttons and zippers, then shred the fabric finely and add it to your compost alongside fresher, wetter material such as vegetable peelings or garden cuttings to help it break down faster. Find more information about how to to this properly here.
  6. Purchase an unstuffed pouf style hassock such as the one pictured below and fill it with old bedsheets, towels, and clothing. Again, remove any attachments like buttons and zippers that might poke through the cover. If you’re like me, it might take half a lifetime to fill a hassock, but you can do the same thing on a smaller scale by filling  an unstuffed throw cushion.

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Unstuffed pouf from Amazon.ca

Do you have any ideas to add to this list? What do you do with old, worn out clothing?