Sustainability of Crafting

by Elizabeth Sullivan June 24, 2018 1 Comment

Sustainability of Crafting

Recently I've been reading the book "Life without Plastic" and the June issue of National Geographic which features several articles about plastic pollution. I've been on a bit of a campaign to reduce plastic in our home for the past year or so, but even so, reading these articles has been eye opening as to just how big of a problem plastic is for our planet. The fact that really stuck with me from the National Geographic article is that "Virtually half of the plastic ever manufactured has been made in the past 15 years". This is mind-boggling to me. And obviously not sustainable!

So, this was on my mind yesterday as I packed up all my craft supplies for our move next week. Most of it is yarn and books for knitting and crochet, but I also have tools and materials for weaving, sewing, embroidery, beading... you get the picture. And as I was sorting it all out, I started noticing all the bits and pieces of plastic.

I have a box of vintage sewing thread I inherited from my grandmother that is all on beautiful wooden spools. But of course now when you buy thread it's on plastic spools.

Embroidery thread on plastic holders

It used to be that when you bought embroidery thread it came with a little paper sleeve to keep it tidy - now it's plastic. And I have these little plastic organizers to wind the thread onto which is convenient, but couldn't I have just used bits of recycled cardboard?

Plastic buttons, nylon ribbons, elastic, tape measures, scissor handles, the iron... When you start really looking, you realize just how pervasive it is.

Now I know that I won't be able to replace everything in my crafting life with a plastic-free version, but it is certainly something to think about when making purchases in the future.

Questions to ask myself:

  • Does this contain plastic?
  • Does it need to or is there an alternative plastic-free option?
  • Is it something I could make myself instead?
  • Or get second-hand rather than buying new?
  • If I must buy plastic, is it the best quality, longest-lasting version I can afford?

Are you a crafter? Is this something you've thought about before?

P.S. This is something we think about in our business practices as well, but that's a story for another blog post :)





Elizabeth Sullivan
Elizabeth Sullivan

Author


1 Response

Kelly W.
Kelly W.

June 25, 2018

YES! I absolutely think about it. And sometimes there are different choices I can make and sometimes there aren’t because, for example, plastic SPOOLS. It’s so hard. And it’s absolutely worth it.

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