By: Blonde Two

Did you know that the UK consumes 1.1 million tonnes of clothing a year?

Now I don’t think that this means we eat all of that lycra, cotton, denim and in my case merino, but we do wear it. In fact, on average we spend 5% of our household budgets on things to wear. This may not sound too bad to you until you consider the fact that most of us leave 70% of our clothes sad and alone in the wardrobe and when we do decide to have a clear out each of us produces 70 kg of textile waste each year.

I know, I can hear you. You’re all saying things like, ‘Well I don’t spend that much on clothes,’ or ‘Not me I never throw anything away.’ Well that is what averages are all about and I have long had my suspicions that the Two Blonde’s readership is anything but average.

I have been doing some darning recently and I can thoroughly recommend it. Not only will you have happy toes and elbows but there is something ultimately satisfying about the task of drawing torn edges together and feeling your power over the hole as it dematerialises (or should that be rematerialises?) There is more skill to darning than you might imagine, you have to strengthen any fragile edges and make sure that you over-darn to protect the surrounding area. Merino is my favourite candidate, I think because it is knitted and you can aim for each little hole (if you can see it). It is just as well I like darning merino so much because it can be a delicate fabric and prone to holes.

I once darned a tent. Actually I have done that more than once but the time I am thinking about was on the Isle of Man with B1 and a DofE Gold team. It was our ‘family’ tent, it was raining and very windy and the rest of the team were still putting the other end of the tent up while I was working. The darning kind of worked but I do remember dropping the needle, kneeling on the soggy ground and having a slightly hysterical moment when I realised that I actually was looking for a needle in a haystack.

I have an interesting challenge for you (and I have two people in my head whom I think might win). I would like you to tell me about your oldest piece of clothing but it has to be something that you still wear. Mine would be a blue fleece that has a hole burnt in it from my very first Scout campfire. This would have back when Not-At-All-Blonde was 9, she is 23 now.