The Great Bar Mitzvah Sweatshirt Challenge

April 29, 2020

Especially in a town like Scarsdale, it’s safe to assume that most households have tons of Bar and Bat Mitzvah sweatshirts somewhere in their homes. People put a lot of time and money into making and designing these sweatshirts and we feel bad getting rid of them. Do we throw them away? Do we donate them? The practice of giving out hundreds of sweatshirts at each Bar Mitzvah produces a massive amount of waste in our area as many recipients rarely wear them. This is a real problem we need to tackle, but for now, as long as kids keep having Bar Mitzvahs, they will probably still be giving out logoed clothing. So what is one way to handle the waste? Re-invent them!

Jenny Kahn
To transform this long sleeve bar mitzvah t-shirt, I cut it where the logo started and resewed it into 3 sections and made it a crop top. I added a lightning patch for interest.
Jenny Kahn
This black sweatshirt had logos on the front and back. By cutting a hole where the logos were, I inserted a two-layer design made from the same two other bar mitzvah garments mentioned in the last picture.
Jenny Kahn
For this white hoodie, I covered the logos on the front and back with a patchwork design created from two other logoed bar mitzvah garments.

Rather than throwing away perfectly good clothing that has barely been worn, I’ve been experimenting on how I can redesign and re-use these Bar Mitzvah sweatshirts. One way is to cut up some sweatshirts and use the material to sew the scraps onto another sweatshirt in order to cover up the logos. Another is to crop or cut them up in interesting ways to make them more stylish. You can add trims, patches, and heat transfers to cover the logos, too. So I challenge all of you to see how you can redesign and use these sweatshirts rather than simply throw them away and have them sit in landfills. This lockdown is the perfect time to work on it while we have more time on our hands. Send me suggestions or pictures of your designs and I will post them on this blog.

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