One of the sad things about our modern lives of convenience is that we have lost many of the, admittedly time consuming, skills that can help us to save money, reduce waste and live more in harmony with our environment. For example my great-grandad grew his own vegetables as a matter of course but somewhere between he and I the knowledge has been lost and I find myself in my forties only an enthusiastic beginner.
I love talking to my grandma about how she used to live, how they managed on rations and the three meals they could get out of a small portion of mince. It strikes me that many of the things those of us with environmental concerns are doing today whether it be eating less meat, buying our milk in glass bottles from the milkman, mending our clothes or growing our own vegetables are things that would have been normal only a few decades ago.
The more of these money-saving skills I learn the better I am eating, the less I waste and the more connected I feel to my own existence.
Patagonia have pioneered technologies to make best quality performance clothing using recycled polyester and nylon. If you look at their collection you will see ever greater use of these cleverly recycled fibres and if you are interested you can read more at:
In keeping with their mission to 'use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis' this season has seen them increase their use of recycled wool - something our foremothers and fathers knew all about,
'The practice of recycling wool dates back hundreds of years. After wool sweaters had been worn threadbare, they were collected and shredded into individual fibers and then converted into blankets'.
The way it works is that the wool goes through a meticulous sorting of materials into colour categories prior to shredding. Then they select and blend the different colours of dyed wool fabrics and garments. Simple really.
Of course Patagonia also pride themselves on making great quality lasting clothing so the process is now aided by modern-day quality controls.
And when you consider that the production of wool requires vast amounts of land for grazing sheep and that wool production demands energy, water and chemicals to convert the wool from fleece into clean fiber of consistent quality, and then into beautifully dyed wool products it all seems pretty clear that recycling is the way to go.
Way to go Patagonia.
Search recycled wool on my website to see the great products on offer.
And learn from your Grandparents before it's too late.