Monday, July 18, 2011

The Complete Life Cycle of a T-Shirt

Remember back in the day, when you were in school, & you'd study the many uses the Native Americans had for buffalo?  Nothing went to waste.  Every single bit of the buffalo was put to use.  I always found that to be the logical use of such an animal; yet, today, things get thrown away well before they have been used in entirety.  It's cheaper to buy the next model than have your current model fixed.  Lets face it, we are a throw away society.

While I wouldn't have the first clue as to how to render the most use out of a buffalo, or how to repair a broken appliance, I have figured out how to make the most use out of one thing--the t-shirt.  Imagine with me if you will...

I am so wishing this were my shirt right now...
Stage 1
You purchase your shirt.  It's beautiful, unblemished, everything you would hope a t-shirt could be. Until you drip marinara all across your stomach or rip a hole in the bottom while trying to tuck it in. In disappointment you throw it out or you could...

Stage 2
Begin wearing said shirt under sweaters or as a night shirt.  While it can't be displayed in public, it is still good for warmth or use in the privacy of your own home.   Until...

Stage 3
Said shirt is now so utterly stained, holey, shrunken, etc. that it is no longer justifiable to wear.  What to do?  Cut it into rags.  Don't forget to save the seams for tying up tomato vines and the like.  And then?

Stage 4
Your tshirt rags are now so thin/disgusting/stained that they cannot be used.  Simply throw them in the compost pile.  They'll decompose in due time & nothing is wasted.  

Feel free to skip step two if you'd like.  Either way, t-shirts really lend themselves to a long life span & I know that for most of my life I wasn't using them to their full potential. 

Not exactly the same as the buffalo...but close.

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  1. Ha ha LOL I have to laugh at this. I do the same thing w/our t shirts - my husband kills a bunch of them annually; I should totally turn it into some kind of observed event. His are pretty plain, but there are some logo ones from his college days that I'm gonna have made into a quilt I think (yes, I will have to have someone do it FOR me b/c I cannot sew to save my life; not very frugal). But some of mine have bows, appliques, sequins, etc. and when it's time for THOSE to go, I clip what I can off of them and stash them away for art projects. We have quite the odd assortment of things in a couple rubbermaids in our basement; can't wait till my 5 year old starts making dioramas. They're SO gonna take first place :P

  2. I also recently salvaged a shirt into yarn! You can google how tos...but it's pretty easy & makes a great texture to crochet with. (I made a bangle bracelet & a dish scrubber so far!)

    I also used them to make cloth diapers before--worked great!

    And I've used them as melon slings in the garden along fences, up off the ground. ;-)

    Larger (mens) sleeves are perfect, when still intact as a head/hair band while working out or when you wash your face.

  3. KT, salving a shirt into yarn is WAY COOL! I'm super impressed. Excellent ideas all around!

  4. Mo, I totally save stuff off shirts too. Reason 101 why I might be headed to Hoarderville...haha