Tangletown hosting textile reduction event

The Tangletown Neighborhood Association aims to reinforce the importance of reducing consumption and reusing products at upcoming events focused on textiles.

The Tangletown Neighborhood Association (TNA) is hosting an event aimed at helping people better understand how they can reuse and repair old textiles, from T-shirts to wool socks.

The organization’s environmental committee will have guest speakers and demonstrations at the three-hour event, set for noon on Saturday, March 21, at Fuller Recreation Center, 4802 Grand Ave. There is no cost to attend, and the event is open to the public.

A handful of local organizations at the event will discuss how people can reuse and mend their old clothing. There will also be collection of specific textiles, including T-shirts, unused fabric, old towels and wool socks and sweaters.

The wool items will go toward Pick-A-Pair Mittens, which uses recycled fabric to create handmade mittens. The old T-shirts will be made into reusable bags and “unpaper” towels that can be used in place of disposable paper products.

TNA environmental committee co-chair Andrea Siegel said the goal of the event is to reinforce the importance of reducing consumption and reusing products — actions that have a greater impact than recycling in reducing waste. She said she also hopes people feel empowered to invest in quality products that last longer than cheaper items.

The event was precipitated, Siegel said, by Hennepin County’s decision to discontinue its textile-recycling program. The county ended the program because it couldn’t find a vendor that could verify the textiles were actually being recycled.

“There isn’t really a way to know what happens to it once it’s gone,” said Siegel, a county-designated master recycler and composter.

Organizations that will present at the event include Mobile Menders, which repairs clothing for those in need, and Donate Good Stuff, which runs an online listing outlining places people can take different items.

Hennepin County says efforts people can take to reduce textile waste include investing in high-quality products that are less likely to wear down, reducing the amount of goods purchased and creatively repairing items.

Visit tinyurl.com/tangletowntextiles to learn more about the event.