Those of you who live in warm climates might not be familiar with this semi-annual ritual: as the seasons turn, you have to put away last season's clothes and bring out the new season's. Most of us store our "off season" clothes in bins in the basement or attic, since we don't have enough room in our closets. (More on that later). When I brought up the bins, we found a stash of cold-season clothes that had been saved for my younger child to grow into. Included was a set of fleece feet-y pajamas (the one-piece kind that you step into and zip from ankle to chin) in a cute Santa Claus print that my older child had loved but inevitable grew out of. The initial excitement of "new" clothes turned to disappointment when we discovered that the PJs had been loved so much the soles of the feet were full of holes.
Here's where the story turns philosophical.
The obvious answer is, chuck them in the trash and go get new ones. They'd probably cost $10 to replace, and we would have our choice of whatever the latest designs are. That's not only the obvious choice, it's sensible in terms of time and money, right?
Naturally, I did something else.
I remembered that in the recesses of my fabric stash was the kind of anti -slip fabric with the tiny rubber dots you find on slippers and feet-y pajamas. I had ordered it with the intent of making this very kind of pajamas for the kids about three years ago, and never did so.
Snip, snip - out goes the old sole. I traced the shape onto the new sole, added a flannel lining with another scrap, onto the machine, and, voila! New soles. Ten slip stitches by hand, and the zipper was once more secure. My kid now has a great pair of PJs to cuddle up in bed with.
Throughout the entire project, I thought, I'm crazy. This is nuts. I should save the time, get some new pajamas. It was only when I saw the finished project that I thought - wait, maybe I'm NOT crazy. Maybe the idea of repairing something isn't stupidly old-fashioned. Maybe the whole cheap apparel industry, which is stuffing our closets, drowning our landfills, and keeping millions of garment workers in low-wage, unsafe jobs is what's CRAZY.
Once upon a time, clothes weren't cheap. They were valuable. You didn't simply toss out a garment because the print was sooooo last year. You fixed things if they wore out, until you couldn't fix them anymore, and then they because useful rags. Your closet wasn't a fire hazard, choked with items you bought cheaply, and then don't really wear. You didn't have to do four loads of laundry a day to keep up (can I get a witness?). And the people who created clothing were artisans who could earn a living wage.
Am I crazy? Undoubtedly. But was I wrong? That's a different question, one that I leave you to ponder. Peace, ya'll.