Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have. In this series I share personal stories of making do and welcome you to share yours in the comments.
I made do for a long time with two bath mats (one for each of my bathrooms) that were stained, worn thin, and frayed on the edges. I wanted replacements, mostly because they embarrassed me every time a guest stepped into my bathroom. I didn’t want a cheap replacement from IKEA or another big box store. I wanted a bath mat that was fabricated with care. For me, it had to be made from sustainably grown, natural fibers where all people in the line of production were treated fairly, both in conditions and wages. Either I didn’t look hard enough, or I didn’t want new bath mats bad enough, because a purchase was never made and those worn out mats continued to serve.
Recently I was browsing a library book, Linen, Wool, Cotton, and noticed one of the projects was for a floor mat. In that instant it occurred to me that I could make my own bath mat from reclaimed fabric. In the back of my closet I had a heavy, cotton, shower curtain that was of no use to me in that capacity due to it’s small size (it was formerly used in a shower stall at a previously owned home). It was the perfect size to cut and stitch into two bath mats. At no cost and in less then two hours I had two new bath mats.
There’s such satisfaction in making do. My patience paid off financially, ecologically and in gratitude. Now I wear a smile every time I step out of the shower. As for the old mats, they now serve as rags and do a mighty good job of polishing that tub.