Due to budget cuts and other concerns, some school districts have been cutting back on home economics classes and the loss of these classes could be causing a significant drop-off in clothing maintenance skills among millennials.
According to a new study
published in the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal
, a University of Missouri researcher has found baby boomers possess significantly more basic sewing
and button repair skills than young adults between the ages of 18 and 33 years old, a generation commonly referred to as millennials.
Study author Pamela Norum, a professor in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management at MU, said her findings are somewhat concerning - considering the quantity of clothing waste that is produced in the US annually.
"In 2012, Americans created more than 14.3 million tons of textile waste," Norum said
. "Much of this waste is due to clothes being discarded due to minor tears or stains - easily repairable damages if the owners have the skills and knowledge to fix them."
"If we, as a nation, want to move toward more sustainable practices in all aspects, we need to evaluate not only how we take care of our clothes, but how we educate younger generations to do so as well," she added.
In the study, Norum interviewed over 500 American baby boomers and millennials on their clothing usage practices. While baby boomers commonly had much more expertise in fixing clothes and laundry
than millennials, millennials who said they had taken sewing classes or who had been shown how to sew by a member of the family had more total clothes repair skills than those who did not have training on the subject.