I think millennials should learn to sew and here's why.
One of the fastest growing waste products being thrown into our landfills nowadays is textile waste. In the United States alone, it is estimated that there is an alarming 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste that's being dumped into the country’s landfills every year. Additionally, lots of byproducts come out of the textile manufacturing and disposal process resulting in a staggering total of ten million pounds of hazardous waste contaminating the nation’s waterways annually.
The irony of all is that 95% of this textile waste can be recycled.
The Main Reason Why Millennials are Generating Textile Waste
Research shows that millennials are wasting scores of textiles more than the baby boomers simply because they don't know how to sew! Most of the textile waste is due to clothing being discarded just because of minor tears or missing buttons. This is an easily repairable damage, if only the owner knew how to fix it. Sewing, hemming and button repair used to be common skills. Everyone did this at home to save a dress or a jacket. Unfortunately, this just isn't the case anymore.
Compared to the baby boomers, millennials are far more averse to winding a bobbin, threading a machine, inserting a zipper or making a buttonhole. Since damaged clothing is often now simply discarded, more and more textile waste is produced every year. Something has to be done about this concern and hopefully millennials can do their part and learn to sew!
Decomposing Textile Waste Causes Global Warming and Clogs Waterways
Aside from clogging the waterways, decomposing textiles also release methane into the air. Methane is a harmful greenhouse gas that causes global warming. Aside from this, dyes and chemicals in textile wastes can also leach into the soil and contaminate surface and groundwater. A high price to pay for not sewing a patch or a button!
Recycling Textiles and Clothing Repair Should Become Common Practice
How do we start addressing this problem before it gets too big?
Aside from learning basic clothing care, millennials should also be taught the importance of recycling textiles. They should be aware that one recycled rag, for example, saves 17 gallons of water and 66 BTU’s of energy. So every time you recycle a rag, you are doing the environment a favor.
There is an urgent need for increased education so that the future generation will become aware that every textile they throw away harms the environment. As such, recycling textiles and knowing how to sew should become a common practice, not only in our homes, but also in the offices and schools.
Basic sewing skills should be taught at home or perhaps in secondary schools like before. Learning how to sew should be considered cool for millennials because it means they help save the environment for the next generations to come.