Little did I know, I share similar obsessions with Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth as outlined in the article, “The Life-Changing Magic of Making-Do” by Benjamin Leszuz.
My obsession with using every inch of every sweater, coat, or shirt that I have snagged from the Arc Thrift Store in Fort Collins is shared by Prince Charles. Leszuz writes,
“The journalist Marion Hume discovered a cardboard box containing more than 30 years of off-cuts and leftover materials from the Prince’s suits, tucked away in a corner at his Savile Row tailor, Anderson & Sheppard. ‘I have always believed in trying to keep as many of my clothes and shoes going for as long as possible … through patches and repairs,’ says Prince Charles. ‘In this way, I tend to be in fashion once every 25 years.”
The article further praises Prince Charles for his penchant to mend his clothes rather than discard them. “Most modern consumers are not nearly so resourceful: The average person buys 70 new pieces of clothing each year, about 60 of which ultimately wind up in a landfill. (Thrift stores only sell one in four pieces of donated clothing.) According to a British study, the average article of women’s clothing is worn seven times before it’s discarded.”
I have an uncountable amount of scraps of material stored in my house patiently waiting to find their places in my recycled art. I never throw any item that may find its way on my hats or as embellishment on my line of upcycled clothing or my line of bottle cap bead jewelry. Nothing goes to waste just like Prince Charles, who insists on mending his clothing. The article reports on another recycling practice that I share with the British royals.
“The Prince comes from a tradition of admirable frugality – the Queen reuses gift-wrap – but his inclination to repair rather than replace, to wear his clothes until they wear out, is an apt antidote to our increasingly disposable times.”
Just like the Queen of England, I gift wrap my presents in old road atlases and reuse gift wrap. Just like Prince Charles, I save scraps.