Clothing You Can Compost? (article)

Can you compost these hemp shoes?

I have a pair of really messed up hemp shoes…it’s getting to the point where I’m considering cutting the sole off and shredding the hemp upper to see if I can compost it.

I contacted the company to see what dyes were used in making the shoe.  Super friendly customer service, but no response as promised.  Sadly, I think I freaked them out with what would be considered a not-so-average question.  I’m going to try calling again, and if no response, I’ll just call again.  I bought hemp shoes because they’re more sustainably grown and way more comfy to boot…they just don’t last as long.

In the meantime, I found this article I liked pertaining to composting all types of fabric.  I haven’t found much success with composting fabric, i.e. I pull out stringy stuff from time to time from otherwise finished compost, but I still support it and know that it works in the long run.

From Earth Divas’ blog:

You know that much loved t-shirt you’ve had since the early ’90s? It’s thin enough to see through, and now looks like Swiss cheese from all the holes. This is the kind of shirt you can’t donate, since after all…who would buy it?

So, it often gets thrown in the garbage.

What many people don’t realize is that a lot of clothing can be composted. Yeah, you read that right. You can compost clothing. Of course, this all depends on what it’s made of.

What Can You Compost?

A great example of clothing or fabric that can be composted are our hemp handbags. Because the fabric is made with hemp (which, of course, is 100% natural) our bags can be cut up and composted in your garden when their useful life is over with. How cool is that?

You can compost pretty much any fabric that’s made using natural ingredients. For instance, cotton, hemp, tencil, bamboo, wool, etc. You can compost towels, jeans, tshirts, socks, handbags…anything natural!

I wouldn’t advise putting in blended fabrics. For instance, cotton blended with rayon is pretty common. The cotton would disappear in the compost pile, but because rayon is plastic it won’t break down.

How to Compost Fabric

The key to successfully composting old clothing and fabrics is to cut it up into small pieces. The smaller the piece, the faster it’s going to break down in your compost pile.

If you don’t have a compost pile, you can use strips of fabric in your garden and flower beds to help hold in moisture. Simply spread the strips of fabric around your beds, and then top with a layer of mulch.

If you use brightly colored fabric strips, this could give your garden and beds a wonderfully eclectic, vibrant look if you mix the mulch and fabric together! Personally, I love this idea and might have to try it in my own flower beds.

Last Word…

Have you ever composted fabric? I think this is an awesome way to dispose of natural fabrics and clothing that can’t be donated. What do you think?

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