Tuesday, 2 June 2009

It's not that easy, going green...

A belated "Hello, I'm back from my holiday!"
Devon was beautiful and inspiring. I took a lot of holiday snaps of the boats on the river, but I think this picture is my favourite. I took it looking up at the trees, on the walk to Dartmouth Castle, which is a lovely walk with lush greenness on one side and the river Dart in all its glory on the other.

Now, about the 'going green'...

A while ago, I posted on this blog about trying to change over to more ethical fabrics. It is surprisingly tricky, in this modern eco-conscious world, to be a 'green' crafter. Companies selling goods that are organic may not also sell goods that are fair trade, or vice versa...and when you do find a company that sells things that fit both criteria, they have an unfortunate tendency to be companies based in far flung places. This gives more problems, with the cost of freight and import duties, not to mention the amount of distance the goods will have to travel, thereby adding to the air pollution of our poor, hapless mother earth!

Shifting my products over to ethical, eco friendly materials is important to me. I've been made aware of the environmental effects of non-organic cotton and as an independent businessperson, trying to make a difference in the world, it does play on my conscience that I have hoards of fabric that are just not organic. I'm working on ways to make the best use of them as I can until I get through them and can make my products significantly more eco.

Fair trade is important to me too. I feel that its a little counteractive to be an independant crafter, promoting the handmade movement against a wave of consumerism, to use materials that themselves promote mass production and the exploitation of others.

Not long ago, I discovered a wonderful company that not only sells organic cotton by the metre, but that that cotton is fairtrade, imported directly to England from the happy producers, with outlets reasonably local to me. You know what the absolute bestest part is? The fabric is, as we say in the south west, absolutely lush! Gorgeous colours and texture, just the right weight for what I want to do with it. Here's a sneaky peeky:

It's not always possible to find the exact colour you want...but I've also tracked down some eco friendly dyes that could help with that, and in a way being limited by colour is really good...because it means I can let the fabric guide the design. So far, I have off-white, raspberry red-ish pink, soft grey and heathery purplish blue cottons. These are going to be the base colours for my first few Treacle Toffee clutches, coin purses and cushion covers (pillow covers if you use American English, but I couldn't resist the alliteration there!)

I'm excited about this change, and I hope you folks are too. :-) Watch this space for a post about other eco friendly practices I'm using in the shop.


  1. That photograph is absolutely beautiful!
    I'm looking forward to seeing what you create with your new found fabrics.
    Have you thought about reusing fabric from your charity shop?

  2. Thanks Penny :-)
    Next time I post about eco friendly practices I will talk more about the reclaimed fabrics I use - I have for some time, bought fabrics from the charity shop, so I'll go into more depth on that as well as other little ways I try to be 'green'.

  3. OK thanks Catherine, I'll check out your blog again soon.
    Did you see on tv this week, 'Mary Queen of Shops' trying to organise that charity shop!?

  4. Just read your comment on Toby's blog, thought perhaps you could use a kilt pin with your lovely fabric leaves, honesty, etc hanging down from the loops?

  5. Thanks for the suggestion :-) It's a matter of figuring out a way of affixing fabric to jump rings without tearing it that causes me trouble! (anyone reading this who is puzzled at what I'm talking about, go check out Toby's kilt pin jewellery at natural attrill! :-D )
    I missed Mary Queen of Charity Shops - will have to try and catch that online.