Sewing for a zero waste life is turning into a series here on the blog. If you missed the initial post on fighting the Big 4 of disposable plastic with your secret weapon, sewing, you can check it out here. I also tackled waste in the bathroom in this post. Well, dear readers, the time has come now to tackle the waste in the kitchen that can be defeated with the help of our sewing skills, therefore cutting out waste from our lives and benefiting the environment. Plus such great scrap-busting ideas as well… So here are a few ideas…
The final report of the British Parliament Environmental Audit Committee on fast fashion was published on Tuesday this week. It highlights that the average clothing consumption in Britain is the highest in Europe, yet we only wear them for an average of 2.5 times. Moreover, less than 1% of the material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing at the end of its life. ‘A glut of second-hand clothing swamping the market is depressing prices for used textiles”, the report also states. And around 300,000 tonnes of textile waste ends up in household black bins every year, sent to…
Yes, that time of the year it’s upon us. And lo and behold, it’s turning from one day into a whole season of discount and general unbridled deal-ramming down our throats. Yes, that includes the sewing community, I have already seen discount codes popping in my Instagram feeds or in my inbox.
So, as a minimalist and a sustainability-minded person, this is probably the time of the year where I get riled up and I just can’t keep it all in either. And it’s now making its way on my blog as well.
Back in September, during Zero Waste Month, I wrote a post about how we can put our sewing skills to good use towards a more sustainable lifestyle. I had so many ideas for that post that I had to leave out a few for a follow-up and guess what, now’s the time for that!
Single-use plastics continues to be the topic du jour, especially since the European Parliament has recently passed on legislation to ban plastic plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds by 2021. In the previous post, we talked about why the big 4s of single-use plastics (bags, bottles, cutlery, straws + added bonus of coffee cups), and how we can tackle them using our sewing skills. But there are more things we can do with our sewing machines + fabric to cut out on single-use items from our lives and benefit the environment.
Making my own jeans was one of the most empowering sewing projects I ever completed. After vowing I would never make jeans because a) I don’t wear jeans all that much and b) I have a few RTW pairs that fit me quite well, I finally succumbed a few years ago to the Ginger jeans mania. And I never looked back! It looks like I’m not the only one that feels amazing in their self-made jeans! So many people in the community have been revelling in fearless sewing and just getting over any misapprehensions and worries to dive right into it.…
I don’t know if I am living in an echo chamber, surrounded by people who think like me, but it’s amazing how the tide seems to be turning against plastics and waste in general. I hope it’s not news to any of my readers that I feel very passionately about leading a less impactful life. This links mostly to my wardrobe and my sewing, but in today’s post, I’d like to talk about another aspect of sustainability I feel really strongly about – waste.
I’m so glad that the sewing community is also starting to become aware and interested in sustainability and there are a lot of conversations going on on social media and on blogs.
This got me thinking about how could we sewers put our skills to good use towards a more environmentally friendly life, having fun, using our fabric scraps and helping reduce plastic at the same time. So looking at the biggest culprits for waste, I gathered some ideas and projects to inspire you to give it a go too and tackle them through sewing.
I just have too much fabric! Said no sewer ever!
And yet, if you are working towards a minimalist lifestyle, or on a journey to a meaningful wardrobe through sewing, like me, there comes a time in your [sewing] life where you just know you need to get rid of some fabric. It might be because you just do.not.have.the.space anymore. It might be because there are just too many options to choose from and you can’t see the forest from the trees in the insanely big stash. Or because you are just not in love with certain pieces anymore and you want to make room for something you might enjoy (and use) more.
Whatever the reasons, and I’m really not in a position to judge here, with my 150 metres+ stash, there comes a time when you just need to let some pieces go. But of course, you would like them to get a loving new home or at least do some good when you part ways.
So I’ve come up with some ideas that would make your next destash a bit easier and also help towards a higher purpose (even if it’s just to make you feel a bit better about yourself).
Sustainable, Ethical, Green, Bio, Responsible, Thoughtful | What do they mean and what’s the difference?
Like me, you are trying to lead a more sustainable life, or better put, a less impactful life. You are willing to make the right choices. But what are those right choices? Marketing and advertising people in brands and retailers are shouting from the rooftops that this product is sustainable, or that brand is ethical, or we should be conscious consumers or fight fast fashion with slow fashion, or choose FairTrade or organic and live clean lives… And what’s worse, they tend to use them interchangeably as well.
Arghhh, makes your head spin, right? And you haven’t even begun looking into said claims…
Have you wondered where that fluffy, lovely, warm cashmere scarf or mohair jumper really come from? Or just how ethically was it produced? Well, let’s explore together the ins and outs of hair-based fibres and their sustainable story.
We talked about types of wool a while ago and the sustainability and ethic aspects related to it. But not all that is warm, woolly and cosy is actually wool. There are a few other animal fibres that can be knitted or woven into lovely cloth that are not technically categorised as wool, but they are actually the hair various animals, from rabbits to goats, lamas and alpacas.
I ran a survey among my blog readers to try to understand more about what are their opinions and behaviours related to second-hand (or preloved) clothes. Of course, acquiring second-hand textiles can span a wide array of items, from vintage to swapping, from charity shops refashions to fabric scavenging. Motivations can also differ from saving money to saving the planet. It was a very interesting exercise for me, as I certainly started with a series of personal misgivings, but the answers quite surprised me. So, let’s dive into the analysis, shall we?