This Is the Sustainable Crafting Hobby of the Summer

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There's nothing like an old T-shirt that has been perfectly worn in — and nothing is worse than when said tee begins to fall apart, forming holes and tearing until it's no longer wearable. Or worse, you simply get tired of the garment. There are fortunately many ways to repurpose old T-shirts, or you can find a textile waste donation center near you, but we've currently got our eyes on this T-shirt waste loom.


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In collaboration with artist Francesca Capone, creative Elise McMahon designed the loom for her studio LikeMindedObjects (aka LMO). The brand produces custom furniture, interiors, and accessories with an environmental and community focus. LMO aims to participate in respectful labor practices and reduce landfill waste though circular systems — greenwashing not included.

Priced at $200 — with 5% of all profits going to the Or Foundation's Secondhand Solidarity Fund, which helps those on the front lines of the fashion waste crisis in Ghana — the 27-by-27-by-3-inch T-shirt waste loom also comes with a how-to book and video.


Made of maple ply in a gloss-finish and poplar dowels, the loom can be recreated by makers (in fact, it's encouraged!), who can use the measurements provided in the DIY booklet to create more looms for their community. Wearable items, blankets, pillows, and upholstery fabric (check out these chairs!) are just a few of the pieces that can be made with the tool.

The goal is to reduce the 15 million used garments that are thrown away — not donated or recycled like one might think — and imported to Ghana each week. This is just one example of countries like the U.S., U.K., and Australia dumping (literally) the burden of fast fashion onto developing nations.


Of course, it's important to note that this T-shirt waste loom succeeds a long line of global upcycling practices, which are often led by BIPOC communities. LMO references the practice of using thrown-out textiles to create doormats in places like Indonesia, the Philippines, Spain, and Morocco.

The T-shirt waste loom is also inspired by the potholder loom of the 1930s, which was created to use up sock factory waste, according to Little Looms. With a similar focus, McMahon and Capone want people in the United States to take responsibility for their waste produced as a result of overconsumption.


As of right now, the T-shirt waste loom is available for pre-order and takes about five weeks to ship. Once you start upcycling with your loom, you can share your creations via the #tshirtwasteweaving hashtag.


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