On average, a single adult throws away about 70 pounds of textiles every year. Additionally, according to national statistics from the US Environmental Protection Agency, 11.3 million tons of discarded textiles were discarded in 2020 alone. Considering this information, clothing waste majorly impacts the size of our landfills. To tackle this issue at a community level, UNT faculty members Dr. Iva Jestratijevic and Dr. Hae Jin Gam proposed the idea of hosting student-led Mean Green Fix & Wear workshops on campus that educate the community about clothes mending. Students will have the opportunity to bring in clothing items with simple repair needs like a loose button or a hole and learn the skills necessary to mend them.
The original launch of this We Mean Green Fund project was set for 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Project leaders presented an online seminar about the “Sustainable Magic of Clothes Mending” to kick off the project in 2020 despite setbacks to ignite student interest in a future in-person event.
During the Fall semester of 2021, the Mean Green Fix and Wear project leaders came back together to host an in-person workshop to teach students how to mend their own clothes. During this event, project leaders were able to divert over 20lbs of clothing away from the landfill while providing students with the knowledge and materials they need to continue doing this in their everyday life!