We always enjoy receiving the shipment of ollas.  Not only do these clay pot work in the garden to conserve water but because they also allow us to  “go shopping.”

How’s that – you wearing “jugs?”    Nope, but this shopping is the ultimate “going thriftin'” experience!

The ollas that are delivered to us are packed in second hand clothes  — good clothes!   We are always picking out sweaters, shirts and sometimes we even hit the jackpot!    Justin snagged an “urban bee keeping outfit” — aka Nike running suit.   Doesn’t he look snazzy!

Just Do It! Urban beekeeper "olla outfit"

After we unpacked the ollas and sort through the clothes, we recycle the clothing again — as packing material, shipping out the orders from our online store.

Here’s an email from a customer who received her order:

“…. our package of ollas and things came last week and the “new” clothes that my kids got were such a treat.  My youngest got a little wool sweater, red and tan, that she finally took off over the weekend, only because it was in the 80s.  The ollas are in the ground with tomatoes and it looks so lovely that we sat around them last night just visiting and enjoying it all.” —  Sally

Justin models another "olla outfit" while wrapping an olla in a colorful sweater for shipping

Have you received clothing as packing material?   Care to show off your new duds or tell us how you recycled the recycled packing material!

At the urban homestead it’s all about – repurposing, reusing and recycling!

Perhaps the next time you  place an order, you never know, you might just end up  with a new outfit!

Sorry, we aren’t able to take clothing requests or sizes. 😉


  1. Wendy says:

    What a very fun and clever packing material, especially, considering how many clothes end up discarded – for silly reasons, too!

    Nice beekeeper suit. I tried to convince my husband, when we got our bees, that he needed a suit, but he’s decided he doesn’t need protection. So far, so good, but we’ve only just started our beekeeping adventure, and I guess time will tell with regard to how we ultimately decide to outfit ourselves … perhaps we’ll need to order some ollas so that we can get a snazzy outfit to wear around the bees ;).

  2. Laura @ Getting There says:

    I think it’s just wonderful that you guys do that. With all the online commerce that goes on today, it’s a terrible shame how much packing materials are used in a wasteful manner. My husband and I have an Etsy shop, and although we started out using 100% reused boxes and packing (mostly junk mail), we found to our disappointment that many customers are displeased with this kind of “unprofessional” packaging. So we moved to using new boxes and newsprint, and put a “Please Recycle” sticker on it, but I still feel kind of icky about it. I wish we would use bits of recycled clothing for packing–but I don’t think many of our customers would appreciate it. 🙂

    • Stacy~CREATIVEMUSE says:

      @Laura @ Getting There, Keep being persistant, jazz it up with something eles ie confettie some seam binding with a recycled newsprint/magazine rose. Make sure you put your environmental concerns about packaging in your listings and your store policies and shipping info. I love your recycle sticker idea KEEP it going there are ways to tweek it to be pleasing. I have an Etsy store too and I’d do the same thing. I just put a cute touch on it to keep it not so dingy, Dingy as the newsprint can do sometimes.
      Good luck

  3. Michelle says:

    I love the windsuit beekeeping outfit! I am a “plus size”, and one of the reasons I have not yet gotten bees is due to inability to find beekeeping protective gear in my size! So… I could just get the hat/veil and gloves to to with a windsuit and be all good?

    I’ve been wanting to post a request. I will be bringing my new, first ever, nigerian dwarf dairy goat (along with a companion wether) home this weekend. I browsed your archives, but haven’t found anything that explains how you care for yours. Would you share? If not, do you have any sites that were particularly helpful?

  4. kaisenji says:

    I echo Michelle,s request for a blog of urban goats. Next yr I hope to have my nigerian dwarf & pygora wether. So hints on how you do it would be cool. I’m using ollas as well but wish the places would recycle like this.

  5. Sally says:

    How I recycled my Peddler’s Wagon package…all of the clothing was usable by my family, the large envelope that held my “cob oven book” will now hold my 2010 tax papers, the mailing boxes used to protect my ollas will further organize my sewing room, the plain wrapping paper is now “canvas” for my budding artists, and I read and then composted the newspaper…where I learned that it costs $15 now to see a movie…I’ll be smiling when I dust off Anne of Green Gables for movie night this weekend and happily put $15 in our “going solar jar”.

    • nancy says:

      @Sally, $15.00 for a movie, whoa, no “dollar theaters” there? We can go for $3.00… I get free dvd “rentals” from the library too

  6. Chris says:

    I’m using the brown paper that were in my ollas as a baseto cover/kill more grass and create an instant Organic summer garden using the bag gardening method. All you need are good seeds like I purchased from your Freedom Seeds site. and a good, reputable organic 40 quart bags of potting soil. You can do a search for “how to” at Mother Earth News. It allows one to grow an instant OG garden, low to no weeds for the season. The bags can be reused for a few years, but at the end of the growing season you can dump out the dirt, topdress it for the winter (we used seaweed because it is readily available) and come springtime we have black gold to direct plant in. No tilling, no hiring a professional, etc.

  7. Mama T says:

    What a great idea!!!! This is an awesome tip!! You have been our inspiration for many years! It is amazing what one can grow in such a limited space~Bless you B*I*G!!

  8. Ali says:

    Ok. I now officially have a crush on Justin.

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