Some recycling stories, are more than being about recycling. They reveal creativity, initiative, cleverness, intelligence, and it took all that for old fabrics to become something new. Actually it is more than old fabrics, it is fabrics for clothing nobody wants, it is fabrics too old or too whatever to be useful. To just recycle fabric is complicated, because there are so many kinds of fabrics, and there are dies too. Some fabrics are just called unrecyclable. But all the obstacles were overcome and the result was something durable and useful. The design studio Envision partnered with an engineering company Imat-Uve to tackle the project. The result is called Fiber Unsorted. The recycled fabric made from fabrics that would have otherwise ended up in landfills ends up as something that when processed is a textile of high quality and strong enough that it can be used for instance for car interiors. One of the techniques that made this new fabric possible is Imat-Uve innovation to unweave the fabrics without damaging them so that the fibers can then be spun into high quality yarn. The technique can be used on just about any type of garment or fabric filtering out only about 15% usually because the fibers are too short. In addition the technique involves no chemical process making the innovation environmentally sustainable. Once the yarn is ready Envision then refines it using different textures, patterns and colors. Besides the automotive industry, the fabric can be used in furniture design, upholstery, even flooring. I may not know if my next car will use some of this fabric, but it’s enough to know it might.
As of January 2020, the Inner Life Directions weekly posts will become occasional to make room for a weekly podcast—GGID-Giving Good Its Due. You can find it at https://ggid.buzzsprout.com/ It’s short and I hope you will find time to listen.
You can also visit the podcast page of our site https://innerlifedirections.com 0r look for it in whatever directories your favorite podcasts are located.
Homelessness is now well-known as a national problem, one that had been worse in California. As I follow the progress of this issue I rarely read something that to me at least addresses a potential real solution. Mainly because I’ve been wondering who understands the source of the problem, until I read a NYT piece on Dr. Margot Kushel, a longtime advocate for the homeless, now director of the Benioff Homelessness Initiative at UCSF which has a $30 million endowment from the billionaire Salesforce founder. She reminds us that we know what works: Housing First, programs where finding housing is the first and fundamental step to being able to help many who are homeless. But she also acknowledges that “We’ve always known that homelessness is a result, pure and simple, of poverty: the lack of a living wage, the lack of affordable housing and the insidious impact of racism. If we don’t fix the fundamentals, we are just patching a leaking ship. And that is what has happened.”
In my neighborhood as in many others new apartment buildings are going up on almost every block, apartments which are by law exempt from rent control and called luxury units partly to justify their high rents with a slew of amenities. These units are touted by many in politics and elsewhere as the answer to homelessness—implying that a shortage of units is what makes rents unaffordable. And yet when one remembers as was the topic of a post not long ago, that 44% of the labor force work at low paying jobs, economic inequality does seem to emerge as an underlying cause of homelessness. As the California legislature is struggling to come up with a new version of recently defeated AB 50 which wanted to supersede local zoning laws to be able to build more apartments such as those in my neighborhood, the views of Dr. Kushel gain added importance. Let her voice be heard.
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do Justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.