Thrifty Threads


HOLEY MOLEY—Students bring clothing or gear that can be mended and in-turn restored back to it’s useful state. This hole is ready to be repaired so this flannel can be loved again.

Justin Van't Hof

In a world full of changing styles it can be hard to be on top of the latest fashion trends. These trends, however, come at a devastating cost to the environment and account for large amounts of waste. Millions of lightly used clothes end up in landfills around the world simply because they don’t fit the latest trends. The quickly changing trends have led to the term “fast fashion” to describe how quickly the shelf life of textiles is.

The last Monday of every month NMU EcoReps hosts Mend-It-Monday where seamstresses volunteer their time to patch and fix clothing in an effort to upcycle
people’s wardrobes. 

“The fast fashion industry is one of the largest polluters behind oil. Making sure you fix your clothes instead of throwing them away and lengthening the life of your clothes is important to sustainability,” said Megan Khodal, senior EcoReps community outreach advisor. 

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that Americans alone generated 16 million tons of textile waste. This waste often ends up in a landfill
contributing to an ever growing epidemic. There are many ways to combat the systemic waste of the textile industry and it starts with people mending lightly used clothes instead of tossing them out, Khodal said. NMU students  who’ve attended
Mend-It-Monday have taken it upon themselves to stop this epidemic one piece of clothing at a time.