I think everyone in the history of modern times has had a shirt that they keep because it has sentimental value. Whether your names are Ross and Rachel and the shirt says “Frankie Say Relax” or it’s a white tee filled with juvenile love notes that say you’ll K.I.T. after camp, we all have “the shirt.” There are a few among us, though, who have more than one special shirt. Some of us even have a dresser or closet full of that “one shirt” (*cough* my fiancé *cough*). Even though these articles of clothing don’t fit, or are not meant to be worn in public, we can’t part with them. They make us happy sitting in that drawer, they make us feel loved when we snuggle up with them, and why should we get rid of happy things, anyway?

My main argument is space. Since I personally do not have a lot of sentimental items in my possession, it’s hard for me to understand or empathize with someone who needs these things around. If something makes you happy, that’s amazing. But if these shirts only make you happy when you move and you’re clearing out boxes and you had no idea you even still had that shirt, but you’re just going to put it back in the box and not see it until you clear out the storage unit, then why have the shirt? I have a funny feeling I am not the only person who has had this argument with a significant other, and I definitely know I will not be the last. It’s unfair of me to ask anyone I love to give away things that have memories attached, so back in the boxes they will go, right?

Thankfully, there’s a better solution. Project Repat has come to save every type A personality from the clutter of memories they fold and refold with every move.

A Quilt That Does Good

Photo: Project Repat

Project Repat is a phenomenal organization that will take your boxes and drawers of old clothes and memories and turn them into a fuzzy memory blanket. You ship all the shirts you want to be quilted (ranging from 16 to 64 sides of shirts) and they send you back a warm hug in the form of a quilt. Since the quantity is by shirt side, if you have a shirt that you love the front and back of, they can use both sides.

When I learned about Project Repat, I fell in love with the idea and their cause because of the dresser of shirts in our bedroom that haunts me every night, and then I fell head over heels in love. Not only does this company save my sanity and your shirts, it saves plastic pollution. Yes, you read that right — a quilt that saves the planet. Every quilt is backed with Polartec fleece, which is made out of recycled bottles. According to the Project Repat website, each yard recycles 23 plastic bottles! That simple fact makes me happier than imagining all the space I would have in my bedroom if that dresser became a couple of blankets. If you’re worried that a plastic bottle isn’t the coziest of materials, don’t fret. Plastic is spun into a fabric that’s super soft.

Plastic’s New Purpose

Photo: Project Repat

The concept of recycling plastic bottles into clothes is a fairly new concept, as far as the history of fashion goes, but there are other fantastic companies doing the same thing as Project Repat. Patagonia, for example. If you’re curious how the plastic magic is made, we have an in-depth article. As stated in the article, Unifi makes Repreve, which is what the Polartec fleece is made from. I am so amazed by this concept.

To recap, Project Repat saves shirts, space, sanity and Mother Nature — that is something I am definitely on board with. You can look up any questions you may have about your future quilt here. Prices range from $74.99 to $239.99 and come in sizes from a quilt for your lap all the way up to a quilt for your king-size bed. You also get to choose the color of your recycled-plastic-bottle back. I know as soon as I hit publish on this article, I am also hitting “add to cart” as well. If you end up using Project Repat, please post pictures of your quilts in the comments below. I’d love to see the creations we all make and how many bottles and pounds of fabric we save!

By Audrey Holmes

Based in San Diego, Audrey Holmes is on a personal journey toward zero waste. She admits to watching otter videos on YouTube way too much and having an unhealthy obsession with matcha. Speaking of green, read all about her zero-waste journey on her blog, Green Blue Marble.