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Kaylene's Profile

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As a child of parents who went through the depression, I was always taught to look after what I had, and learnt to reuse and make do, rather than get new things. When I grew up, got married and had four children, it was just natural to continue this philosophy. Instead of buying new poor quality clothes, I recycled good quality older items that I had or found in op shops to make their clothes.

After my children grew up, I continued to recycle old clothing to make new things. Although the original reason for my behaviour was simple economics, I felt that the result was a personal contribution to preserving the environment.

Because of all the advertising on TV promoting consumption and the need to always have something new, I thought my situation was unusual, that I was putting up a lone fight against the relentless onslaught of…

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  • Female
  • Born on January 31
  • Joined June 29, 2009

Favorite materials

Wool, cotton, leather, buttons, beads

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About

As a child of parents who went through the depression, I was always taught to look after what I had, and learnt to reuse and make do, rather than get new things. When I grew up, got married and had four children, it was just natural to continue this philosophy. Instead of buying new poor quality clothes, I recycled good quality older items that I had or found in op shops to make their clothes.

After my children grew up, I continued to recycle old clothing to make new things. Although the original reason for my behaviour was simple economics, I felt that the result was a personal contribution to preserving the environment.

Because of all the advertising on TV promoting consumption and the need to always have something new, I thought my situation was unusual, that I was putting up a lone fight against the relentless onslaught of consumerism. But the internet showed me I'm not alone; there are millions of people out there who realise that greed is not good. that if we don't appreciate and conserve the things of the past, there will not be a future. And it's fun, too.

I just love trawling through op shops and finding an old woollen sweater that's been mistreated, either badly washed and shrunk or with holes that make it unwearable. Wool is such a wonderful product, so warm and cosy and comforting, and when it has been through my washing machine a few times, it is soft and pliable and ready to be cut into the shape of a (sort of) brand new pair of slippers. These sweater have been part of someone's life for years, so instead of letting them be thrown out, I love the idea of turning them into something that will give someone else just as many years of faithful service.

As I work with them, they evolve intuitively into a unique pair of slippers. I never know what they will become until I'm actually making them. I'd love to be able to make custom slippers to order, following a design brief, but because of the way I work it is not a possibility. I don't really make the slippers, they just use me to help them become what they've always wanted to be.

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