I can be a total bleeding heart sometimes and often wonder about the impact of my craft(s) on the environment. Living in a small city fairly well removed from any major metropolis doesn’t help that as options for truly eco-friendly suppliers are limited locally, forcing us into the toss up between buying local but possibly not ethical or buying ethical online and the carbon kick-back to go with it. That being said, as a whole Peterborough is made up of a pretty eco-minded population. As a lot of what I do is working with the textiles, and the textiles industry being notorious for corrupt, inhumane, environmentally unfriendly practices I get asked a lot about the steps I take to minimize my ecological footprint and that’s a challenging question to answer. Here are some of the things I do:
-I use and reuse just about everything: I keep buckets for all kinds of scraps and ends depending on size. Serger trimmings become stuffing for display items, stuffies and pillows. Stabilizer scraps are used for buttonholing and other small items. Cutting scraps become scarves and appliques, etc…
-When I come across a good, ethical online supplier I buy in bulk. I try to keep a monetary stash for just such things because that’s often what is required to do so. I also open it up to group purchases to spread the costs out and offset the footprint even more.
-I reuse a lot. Luckily I have a great network of supportive family and friends who keep their eyes open for potential sources of reclaimables for me.
-I encourage fixing over throwing away and buying new. I really don’t like mending jobs but I would rather see a zipper replaced on an otherwise good winter coat than see that coat in landfill. I sometimes charge for this but most times open up my tools and resources to others so they can learn to do it for themselves.
-I shop at home to make my creative space more efficient and productive. I believe almost every craftsperson hits a plateau wherein their space just doesn’t seem to be able to accomodate everything it needs to hold anymore. Rather than rushing out and buying new stuff I’ll have a look through my home to see if there’s already something here which could be switched up to accommodate things better. Sometimes that means heavy bargaining with other members of the household, but negotiations are healthy too.
I’m sure there’s more which is too close to see but that’s a start. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on crafting greener too!
I have to admit that I’m a total craftster addict and Monday mornings usually see me gazing at the comp, eyes glazed over in light of all of the fantabulousness posted after the weekends (when it seems many crafters get busy with the pretty making). You know what the best part about trolling craftster is? I can’t buy anything! If I actually want any of this stuff I have to get off my ass and make it…or swap for it…or something. Take that inner consumer whore! You too, paypal!
Here are some highlights from today’s binge:
I someone made me socks like these I would be their best friend forever and invite them to all of my birthday parties.
I think anyone with any kind of crafty bone has melted their crayons into new colourful concoctions at some point, but these are really groovy. I think they’d make lovely gift decorations or additions to keychains by adding holes and some chain (think mini sharpies…but different) for sharing one’s phone number with potential romantic interests. I love that they’re all colour themed too.
This project makes me miss cottage days. The clever little dickens even added a spot for a small outboard motor. How cool are they?
I know, I know. More bug porn. But how beautiful is he? I’d turn him into a pin so I could wear him everywhere.
More variegated colour love and an ambitious undertaking to say the very least.
So one of the wonderful things which happens when ones children near pubescence is that said children inevitably develop social lives independent from the play dates, sports & gatherings parents arrange for them and inevitably forget to include parents in the itinerary for such events and so get invited to birthday parties which they conveniently forget to tell parents about, make said parent broke after paying for all of the social expenses and lands the parent(s) mere hours away from committing the ultimate in social faux-pas; sending one’s child to a birthday party without a gift. Today was one such day, I was surprised to find out through a phone call from a panicky mum looking for RSVPs. Luckily I’m a crafty mum and was able to save the day, or at least my sanity, if you don’t mind my saying so. A trip to the local liquidators for a $10 yoga mat, a rifling through the fabric/trims stash and an hour of drafting/cutting/sewing time later; behold the magnificent yoga mat & carrier!
And the only reason I get to be all smug about it is because my daughter, upon seeing the gift I’d made for her friend exclaimed ‘Ugh! I was hoping it was for me!’ and hasn’t taken it off since.
Yay! I win!