SEWING PROJECTS FOR A ZERO-WASTE LIFE | Sewing vs waste in the bathroom

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.

How jeans are made and why sewing your own could be a more sustainable option

Making my own jeans was one of the most empowering sewing projects I ever completed. And now I want to tell you that there are even more great reasons to feel great about making your own jeans. You might be doing a little bit for the planet as well. Of course, as sewers, we know exactly who made our jeans: US! So all the potential ethical and social issues that surround the fashion industry are avoided this way. But did you know that you could also have an environmental impact as well?

I recently learned more about the denim production process that made me realise that there are a lot of steps that are part and parcel of the industrial manufacturing process that we don’t do when making our own jeans, and they are actually very water and chemical intensive, not to mention the health hazards to the factory workers. So I wanted to share this with you and encourage you to give home jeans making a go if you haven’t already!

Sewing projects for a zero-waste life | Sewing vs Single Use Big 4s

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.

How to destash your fabric sustainably | 7 easy ideas

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…

Splitting hairs | How sustainable are cashmere, angora or mohair?

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.

WHY PEOPLE WEAR SECOND-HAND CLOTHES | SURVEY RESULTS

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…

First hand natter on second hand clothes | A personal view

When I moved to London for 5 years now, I was really surprised at how many charity shops there are in the UK high streets and always wondered how do they survive, who actually buys from them? It is clear that it is the norm here, and it seems to me…

Quick guide to clothes and textile recycling

There is a lot of talk about recycling lately, and it’s been touted like the answer to all our sustainability problems, not least of all plastics in the ocean, clothes to landfills and incineration. However, there is no magic bullet of transforming an ols garment into a new one just through the magic of textile recycling. And it is absolutely not even the most sustainable thing to do with our unwanted textiles. That is because there are limitations in the technology of recycling for different material, as well as difficulties in the actual collections.

Want to know more about how each type of fabric can be recycled and what are the pros and cons? Read on for a deep-dive into the recycling processes by fibre type and their challenges.

How sustainable is wool?

Wool is a natural material and we could easily assume that’s enough to be sustainable. Wool used to be one of the most common materials, but with the advent of synthetic fibres and the omnipresence of cotton, both the worldwide production and consumption (at least for apparel) has decreased. However,…