Slacking on the ‘being green’

Posted on 06.05.2012


I feel like a bad environmentally aware citizen this week. For the past two weeks, actually. And it’s all because of socks.

To be fair, I’ve had some of the socks in my drawer since before moving to Germany. And not just for a few months, either. But in the past two months, I’ve been running into the same problem: all of my white ankle socks (from Target, at least three or four years ago) are getting holes in them. Sure, they’re old.

As someone who prefers to repair rather than just toss and re-buy, when the first pair showed the normal signs of wear, I just repaired them with a needle and thread and went on with my life. But then, after a few weeks, another hole showed up, right next to the repair. It was getting bigger. I repaired again, since I figured I’d already done it once. But of course, then the hole continued to spread. By the third round, I got fed up and decided to write the sock off.

There’s not a lot you can do with worn-through white ankle socks, in the ‘reuse’ and ‘recycle’ part of the RRR sensibility. I wracked my brain trying to find other options for the white knitted fabric, but couldn’t think of anything for repurposing. With a heavy heart, I threw the sock away.

And now they’re all starting to hit that point of wear, and I’m feeling mildly terrible about the socks that I’m just tossing rather than fixing. But I know what will happen in a few short extra wears, and I have enough socks to not feel like I’ll be going sockless (even though it is May. Not sock-wearing season). I feel like a bad greenie. I feel like a failure for not being able to figure out what to do with these holey socks aside from throwing them away. And I’m still doing it.

The same issue has been happening with my last pair of skinny Express jeans, the ones that are NOTORIOUS for wear in the crotch region after a few short months. I knew it would happen, but I guess I wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon. I’m totally in love with the color of the jeans, and it’s been hard for me to find an exact, or even mildly similar, replacement for them. I’ve bought other pairs, but they don’t fit my wardrobe in the same way that this pair has. So I’ve repaired that spot at least 5 times, and even though I hardly wear them, it continues to get worse. I reached the point the other day, during the last repair, when I told myself that I can’t possibly do this repair again without it becoming obvious to anyone walking behind me that there’s a giant repair in/on the crotch of my jeans. I’m effing distressed about this. And I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be searching for the perfect replacement for a very long time.

I guess there is a certain point in the being green process when things will just have to be retired. I guess the socks had a good run, and I’ve definitely used the hell out of them. I feel like from now on, I should start looking for synthetic socks: I wonder if they’ll last longer?

Posted in: being green, life