Year for the Planet Year 2 Week 10: Building a Clothing Repair Kit

Year for the Planet is a campaign to make better choices for the planet. 2017 was when I fixed my eating habits. This year, 2018, is where I deal with my clothing choices.

One thing I want to start early on this year is to develop a habit of repairing clothes right away. When we see a tiny hole in a T-shirt, it’s easy to ignore it. And later the hole gets bigger to the point that we see the shirt as something we should trash. (This is a great metaphor for other things in life, by the way.) And so for the past few weeks I’ve been relentless at looking at every single rip and tear that I see in my remaining clothing. Obviously, the garments we use the most frequently are the ones that have the most damage, which means all my sportswear received some TLC. I’ve never repaired so many inseams of yoga pants in my life. Ha.

This is a great time to point out the usefulness of a sewing kit, which I take with me in my travels. This kit is a necessity especially when I go to places where it’s hard to find some items. Traveling for so many years has undoubtedly made me a lot more careful with my stuff, and I think this has made me look at my possessions differently. I take good care of them, but ever since an airline lost my luggage I try not to be attached to anything in there. (They lost my black belt, for crying out loud. Separation anxiety: level 10.)

We often underestimate how small yet useful objects can take us a long way. If you haven’t already, here is a clothing kit I highly recommend you have. There are lots of pre-assembled kits available, but I like personalizing things according to my possessions. These are aimed to repair clothing and accessories:

1. A needle book (though I’d only pack a couple)
2. Thread in black and white colors (or your signature color/s)
3. Thread clippers
4. Safety pins
5. Buttons
6. Thimble
7. Nylon
8. Extra earring backs (some jewelry stores would give you a backup pair)
9. A small tube of superglue

Bundled up, they weigh only a few grams, but they can save you a lot of money and the landfills a few shirts. Don’t buy new, repair what’s there!


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