Textile Recycling Next Steps

The over-consumption culture of the US is, evidently, nationally specific.  This realization came to me while scouring each Irish town we visit for thrift shops seeking raw material for my creative process.  So far, thrift shops here are small, unorganized and mostly kinda dirty.  Most clothing is not wool and fairly well worn.  Funny in this land of Aran sweaters and sheep in every other meadow that wool is so scarce - or maybe it just doesn't get discarded. 


Before Christmas the girls and I went on a yarn hunt in Galway for making some of the gifts we were giving.  The vast majority of what we found available were colorful synthetic fiber, which, I dare say, we find unappealing.  Seems like we must be missing the mark on our findings – maybe there are places we have not found where at least wool yarn is for sale in an array of magical colors and textures.  We’ll continue our search and keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I’ve been kicking myself for foolishly thinking that I didn’t need to bring a nice big warm wool sweater with me on this adventure.  I felt sure there would be plenty of time to make one here.  Never did it dawn on me that the United States’ overconsumption problem is real – and so apparently cultural.   Most of me relishes this knowledge – but I sure would love a nice big zipper hoodie on my morning walks.

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Difficulty in finding suitable recycled materials is sparking an interest in researching wool textile manufacturers and planning trips to visit them to discuss waste capture and repurposing.  When I was a kid, before we emigrated to The States we lived in Co. Wicklow near Avoca.   We will plan a trip across the country to visit there after the New Year. 

Today we are off the Limerick to witness horse racing first hand.  It will be a first for all of us – the girls are STOKED!