Guardarrr #7: The Magic of Second Opportunities

This is the English version of my newsletter, you can find the same text in Spanish here!


One of my most curious and consistent observations over the years of organizing clothing swaps has been the enormous satisfaction people get from seeing their discarded garments adopted by someone.

Although the capitalist logic would suggest that the great *win* at a swap is the opportunity to replace something that has lost its value for you with something new and valuable, I would say that the joy of seeing that “what I brought is no longer here” is even bigger.

I believe that at the bottom of this satisfaction there is something universally human: the aversion to waste. And we all know that sometimes the “but this can still be used” impulse leads us to questionable decisions. When we store something in an attic or put it next to the garbage container instead of putting it inside, the little voice of reason tells us that the chances of a new life for these things are slim. Hence the great satisfaction of seeing our things go at a swap: the confirmation of a second chance is instantaneous and wonderful.

Obviously, it has been more than a year since we have been able to swap as we used to. But I had an unexpected high of this sort last week and wanted to share it with you, hence the header photo.


Well, once upon a time there was an adult-sized duvet cover with a somewhat childish print. And it did its job faithfully for over a decade. Upon reaching a certain age, the fabric began to disintegrate: if I fixed one hole, another would soon appear. Hence we decided to retire the cover… and suddenly I had a 220 x 440 cm fabric to discard or reuse. I had already learned that one should not expect longevity from worn fabrics, so I only made a small mock-up from it. Thus the monkeys ended up in the pile of fabrics for the guarnit of this year’s Festa Major.

There Liisa saw them, said it looked like the perfect rag fabric and took it with her. A few days later she sent me the photo of the monkeys at their new – and last – job restoring stained glass.

The politics of suffrage, animal rights and fashion? Yes, please! Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather: Fashion, Fury and Feminism (2018) by Tessa Boase is a true treat.

In line with my praise for visible mending two weeks ago, have some inspiration: DIY Sashiko Denim Repair (Boro), Instead of hiding rips and tears, the visible mending movement turns them into art and Sashiko: The Japanese Art of Mending Fabric with Beautiful Stitches.

This is how you review everyday garments properly, and anything less is trash: The Great White Sock Review.

Another reminder of the evils of fast fashion, this time with a focus on its most plastic side: Plástico y moda rápida.

I am a sucker for fashion diplomacy and this-is-what-they-meant-by-wearing-that breakdowns, so: Meghan And Harry Dressed for Oprah — And Independence.

+ “We’ve never been comfortable with women and death, women and blood, women and something outside of living childbirth”: Miscarriage in the Home.

And that’s it for this week! I hope that you enjoyed reading and would be very happy to hear from you, regarding giving second opportunities to our things or anything else… in the comments below, via Facebook or Instagram, or via e-mail at luize.ratniece [a] gmail .com

Guardarrr is a weekly bilingual newsletter dedicated to sustainability and mindfulness in fashion. It is written by Luīze Ratniece, a sociologist and textile activist based in Barcelona. Guardarrr is both a tool for reflection and a crowdfunding channel for the app that Luīze is building. If you read this newsletter and value it, please consider going to the paid version to fund this project for a monthly equivalent of a coffee + pastry. Each subscription warms my heart immensely and helps going on, thank you so much for being here with me!

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