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Reduce waste now! five super simple ways with fabric

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Reduce waste now! five super simple ways with fabric

Alexa Mottram

Good morning!

How are you and your family doing on your journey towards zero waste?

It’s become popular since blue planet, and for those of us who have been doing this for ages, you’d think it would be old hat. But on the contrary! It has challenged and inspired us anew, and the influx of interest has generated lots of fresh, inventive, and in many cases, beautiful ways to be kinder to the earth.

How about beeswax sandwich wraps to make you want to go on a picnic? or make your own pack-up lunch to save on the daily slew of disposable wrapping and packaging! They’re simple and quick to make, all natural and a genuine pleasure to make and use - I love the smell of beeswax, and making good use of lovely pieces of fabric, which can - even better - be upcycled from an old favourite linen shirt, cotton pillow slip or something else that doesn’t deserve the bin!

Check out Wendy’s illustrated instructions or if you don’t have the time, patience or inclination to make them yourself, Carly and Fran have done all the work for you, and you can order them straight from their little shop on the interwebs, and they have chosen some really cute fabrics (I especially like the teenager one)! And when they’re worn out, they’re fully biodegradable, closing the the loop, and feeding the little soil critters and plants in your garden!

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It’s fab that lots of councils are now collecting compostable waste, but lots aren’t still. If your council is lagging behind the times - or even if they’re already collecting it - everyone’s garden can enjoy the benefits of fresh, earthy garden compost without all the transport.

If you need to few tips to get you going, check out the really useful composting advice from the Eden Project.

Garden too small? Can I recommend a wormery? I get a disproportionate amount of joy from looking after a crateful of the wee wigglers! A wormery can be way smaller than a compost bin of any kind.

Scraps (including cooked food) go in the top. Plant feed comes out the tap at the bottom. (Or as my allotment friend calls it, rocket fuel!). Bob’s your uncle!

If you are feeling creative, it’s not hard to make you own - using car tyres, upcycled mushroom crates, a reclaimed bath, or - rather splendid if you have one knocking around - an old belfast sink.

Almost all textiles still end up in landfill, but a few companies are getting more inventive, and they’re worth supporting!

We’re impressed with Rapanui  who, as well as tracking the environmental impact of their stuff at every stage of it’s journey, also invite you to return their clothes for recycling when you’ve finished with them, and give you store credit in exchange. On the high street, M&S offer vouchers for taking their clothes to Oxfam.

It’s a bonus to have an added incentive, but it would be nice if everyone took their stuff to charity shops in any case. You don’t need to worry about whether your clothes are trendy enough, or in good enough condition to re-sell because most charity shops raise money through sending waste textiles for recycling.

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It’s worth checking with your local charity shop first as you don’t want to insult them, (and unfortunately a few still pay to dispose of textile waste) but you can even take holey socks and worn out, ripped stuff. We take the leather and textile scraps from making your motties - the bits that are too small to be made into slippers - to our local charity shop, St Barnabas, who raised approximately £170,000 from recycling over 400 tonnes of textiles - mostly items that they were unable to sell, keeping it out of landfill!

I want to boast that I was using fabric and ribbons to wrap my Christmas presents yonks before Lush made it popular, but I didn’t think to make a load of groovy video instructions for wrapping funny shapes, as Lush have helpfully done!

One of our friends on Facebook told us that she re-uses packaging to mail her handmade gifts to her customers. At the moment, we use recycled paper bags and envelopes to package your motties (definitely no plastic!), and we hope you will re-use them or compost them. Is it time we upped our game on this - how would you feel about receiving your motties in re-used packaging? Let us know what you think @mottiesUK

All the materials that we use to make your motties are reclaimed - the leather uppers and soles are off-cuts from the furniture industry, and the soft inner is made of stacked up fabrics, from towels to pyjamas to jeans. You can also send them back to us for repairs when they’re looking a little too well worn!

Look out for more on how we make your motties, coming soon, and if you’d like our blog straight to your in-box, you can sign up at the bottom of our homepage.






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