Save textile waste / upcycling and recycling

clotharrows

Till now, in our project we mainly concerned about natural materials, how the products are made and how it effects to us and to your health.

But today we would like to present you new section of our project.

Because we think not only using organic materials, but also reusing unnecessary materials will make the world sustainable and it connects to our health in the future.

We especially now concern about textile waste. We realized in this modern society, fashion trend moves so rapidly.Therefore textile industries produce more than enough garments. besides people need to follow the fashion trend, therefore they have to buy garments all the time and they buy more than enough garments which just stay in their closet all the time.

TEXTILE FACTORY: JIANGSU, CHINA


enough clothes?

We found the research here;
"approximately 12 million tons of textile waste is generated each year in North America amounting to approximately 68 lbs of waste per household per year."
The tragedy is that over 90% of that textile waste is perfectly recyclable.”
(source)
"An estimated 14.3 million tons of textiles were generated in 2012, or 5.7 percent of total municipal solid waste (MSW) generation."
"An estimated 14.4 percent of textiles in clothing and footwear and 17.8 percent of items such as sheets and pillowcases was recovered for export or reprocessing in 2012."
"The recovery rate (does not include reuse) for all textiles was 15.7 percent in 2012, 2.3 million tons."
(source)

according to researches, there are fact that there are so much of textile waste every year but very little number of garments are recycled.

Accordingly, we decided to design our new product with idea of “upcycling”.
 ”upcycling” is reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.

Recycled fashion

Recycling art park

For a long time, we have an idea to create cloth menstrual pads. We already posted our prototypes once here. And now we have an idea to insert unnecessary garments into it. 

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How to correctly store herbs?

When picking herbs we always have to do it on dry days and the time then plants have the highest concentration of healing properties. It is important to properly prepare herbs, but also to properly package them. With this we manage to give the dryed herbs a longer shelf life and give the maximum healing effect.

Here are a few important facts for storing herbs:

  • While stored, they must not come in contact with moisture, air and sunlight
  • Use a clean dark canning jar, zipper bag or paper bags. Always pick a package that has a good closing.
  • Moisture makes the herbs go moldy and sunlight can degrade many compounds, natural as well as synthetic.
  • Always label your packacing (name of herb, date of packacing). It is estimated that herbs which are packaged good can last up to 12 - 18 months.

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Good example of storing herbs: Kyra Botanics

Autumn is approaching fast and it is still not late to gather different parts of plants for teas or different uses in herb medicine.

Some herbs (like rosemary) that are evergreen plants, can be picked all year. Autumn is also the perfect time to dig out roots, when the parts of plants above the ground wilt. Here you have a list of roots widely used in medicine:

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Common comfrey (Symphytum officinale),  Sage (Salvia spp.), Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum), Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)

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Red sage root: Sage roots are good for menstrual pain and problems with blood flow.

Besides roots we can gather bark. In autumn the tree juices flow off so we damage the tree as least as we can. This is are two barks widely used in medicine:

Willow (Salix alba), Viburnum (Viburnum spp.)

But there are many more. Herbs are the best for preventive health and can help with many problems. And picking them is very relaxing for the soul. This helps to nurture the relationship we have with nature.

DIY:Homemade detergent

Do you know you can actually make eco detergent by yourself? It is so easy and wallet friendly. It is also healthy and kind to your skin. There are many receipts you can easily find on internet. Today I am going to introduce one very easy receipt which I usually use.

・ingredients

-sodium bicarbonate(baking soda) 33%

-washing soda 33%

-pure soap 33%

-essential oil 0.5-1%

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For example, if you have 300g of pure soap, you will also need 300g of sodium bicarbonate and 300g of washing soda.

Lavender, tea tree, mint essential oils which have a antibacterial effect and are recommended to add. Citrus essential oils (lemon orange etc…) can cause stains on your laundry. Therefore we don’t recommend them.

・You need to prepare…

-scale

-grater

-container (big enough that detergent will be contained)

Okay, lets start to make it!

1, grate a soap
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2, add washing soda and sodium bicarbonate
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3, add essential oil

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4, mix it (You can cover the container and shake it.)

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That is all!! Now you have your own home made detergent.

I usually add around two tablespoons of it when I wash laundry with a washing machine.

Enjoy your organic life!!

Toys gift pack

We got a request gift pack for a mother of two twins. Inside there are two cute toys named Mila and Svit and one pair of our nursing pads. The toys are made with 100% natural cotton and are safe for the baby.

Organic herb sachet with chamomile tea

Herb sachet that combines natural materials and motifs inspired by slavic mythology. It is beautifully hand embroidered with a motif of Živa, the slavic goddess of fertility. This herb sachet represents the season of summer with the sunny blossoms of the chamomile herb.

Made out of 100% natural linen fabric and embroidered with organic cotton floss that was dyed naturally. Inside the herb sachet you can find chamomile herb tea in a kraft eco paper bag. Our tea is hand picked from our organic garden and it insures freshness and supports the idea of ethically harvested herbs.

The sachet is reusable and can be filled multiple times with your favorite herbs.

Herb sachet that combines natural materials and motifs inspired by slavic mythology. It is beautifully hand embroidered with a motif of Živa, the slavic goddess of fertility. This herb sachet represents the season of summer with the sunny blossoms of the chamomile herb.

Made out of 100% natural linen fabric and embroidered with organic cotton floss that was dyed naturally. Inside the herb sachet you can find chamomile herb tea in a kraft eco paper bag. Our tea is hand picked from our organic garden and it insures freshness and supports the idea of ethically harvested herbs.

The sachet is reusable and can be filled multiple times with your favorite herbs.

Weight: 30g


Sneak peek at our summer herb sachet.

Organic nursing pad

Organic nursing pad provides protection to mothers’ skin during breastfeeding period and makes these precious moments with their baby even more enjoyable. Each pad has a small embroidery so it is also a beautiful fashion accessory.

Made out of 100 % natural flannel cotton and linen, the nursing pad is reusable, thus environmental and wallet-friendly. Flannel’s soft texture is very gentle to skin, and therefore especially convenient for mothers with sensitive skin or allergies, while linen helps absorb the liquid, is anti-bacterial and at the same time also breathable. You will feel dry and pads will protect you from unwanted leaks.

Organic nursing pads are hand made.

We have two types of nursing pads:
* flower petal - normal absorbent pads
* stars and moon - highly absorbent pads

CARE
*We recommend to use organic detergent for washing.
*Do not use bleach for washing.
*We recommend to wash them once before you use. Organic materials can shrink a little bit after the first wash.

How to wash
1. Prepare water or lukewarm water(under 30 ℃) and add baking soda, or detergent.
2. soak nursing pads into the water for few hours or 1 nights.
3. remove the stain by hands.
4. dry them under the sun.
*Please wash them carefully. Even though you cannot see stain, they absorb a lot of breast milk. You can avoid them to get moldy with the correct way of washing.
*We recommend to wash them just by hands for long term use. However if you want to wash in the washing machine, please follow the process from 1 to 3, and then put them in the washing machine and wash it with program for delicate laundry (under 30 ℃).

For more information contact us on our email: knitknot.si@gmail.com

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Natural menstrual pads

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This is a prototype of natural menstrual pads we are now researching and testing.

Why is it good to use natural menstrual products?

  • because most major brands use chlorine bleaching processes to whiten their products. This produces dioxin who is linked to cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease and other health problems.
  • tampons and menstrual pads come into contact with some of the most absorbent and delicate tissue in the body
  • another product of a chlorine bleaching process is rayon. Tampons have been shown to leave behind fibers from the rayon that damage a woman’s vagina by causing ulcerations and peeling of the mucus membrane and have been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
  • the business of sanitary products is worth $1.7 billion

There a lot of negative impacts on the body using tampons and menstrual pads that have chemicals, dangerous for our body. That is why we are developing a healthy and safe version of natural menstrual pads ourselves.

Beeswax hemp thread tuturial

We got this idea while searching for a healthy alternative to chain and leather cords for necklaces. Some time ago we purchased hemp thread from a Slovenian shop called Hannah biz to create embroidery and use it for our herb pockets. When we finished making our jewelry we thought of using it also there. But the hemp thread could be a little irritating for the skin. Through research we found out we can make the thread more glossy and nicer for the skin with this easy tutorial using:

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If you don’t know how beeswax is made you will be very surprised. For myself, beeswax is something vary valuable and I still can’t imagine that it is made by bees themselves. 

What is amazing is that worker bees which live only around 35 days in summer, make wax from about the 10th day of their lives to the 16th. That is only six days! This makes wax even more precious.

They develop special wax-producing glands in their abdomens.  The glands convert the sugar in the honey into wax, which seeps through small pores in the bee’s body leaving tiny white flakes on its abdomen. . Beeuorganics

The bee has eight tiny slits on her abdomen where tiny moist scales of wax emerge.  Using one of her rear legs armed with spiky tongs the bee takes a flake at a time, chews it to soften it and places it on the honeycomb cell.  Each added bit of wax is smoothed and polished. Then she moves to where more wax is needed. Purebeeswaxcandles

It really is true that bees are hardworking animals!

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The wax is formed by worker bees, which secrete it from eight wax-producing mirror glands on the inner sides of the sternites. Wikipedia

This is a picture showing the honeycomb and honey inside the cells. Beekeepers get the honey with cutting off the wax caps from the cells.

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To get the beeswax they purify it by heating it in the water. While heating the melted wax will come on the surface and the melted beeswax is than put into molds. The positive effects of beeswax are widely known. It is used in the cosmetics industry, medicine and in design. What is needed more is the appreciation of the beeswax itself. People need more knowledge about the importance of bees and what problems are occurring that contribute to the dying of bees.

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1. Prepare the beeswax and the hemp thread. We bought this beeswax at the Ljubljana market. It is best to put newspaper on the table you will be working at, because beeswax has a oily feel to it. In this case you will not get stains on the table.

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2. Then put the pot on the stove which is set on low heat. It might take a while for the beeswax to heat but at least it will not heat to fast.This can cause the wax to burn and cloud your whole kitchen in smoke.

3. When the beeswax is melted put in the thread and mix it with a fork or wooden stick. It is best when the whole thread is covered in wax so that the wax absorbs into the thread. It is best to leave it there for max 5 min. 

  • One way is also brushing the thread with wax. This takes more time but if you need for the thread to absorb a small amount of wax this is a great solution.

4. Move the thread from the pot onto the newspaper and let it dry. To remove the excess wax run the thread through the thumb and index finger. This is one way. The other way to remove the excess beeswax is with ironing the thread.

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5. You can then compare the bought thread with the bees waxed thread. The bees waxed thread is more glossy, darker and the fibers don’t stick out so much. It will also not irritate the skin because the fibers are softer.

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After making the beeswax thread we have decided to use it for our Svitek and Herb jewelry because with this we support Slovenian products.

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