Happy Earth Day, everyone!
In the past, I have set annual Earth Day goals to work on for the “environmental year”. For example, I pledged to reduce my possessions by 3X my weight in 2009. I still don’t own a car and rarely ever take a cab, opting for public transit and walking mostly… by choice. I recycle a lot. I’ve become much better at energy usage than before, including turning off just about everything any time I’m away for more than 3 days. The freezer is usually the exception. I eat more locally and seasonally now, and so on. I plan to upkeep all this, of course, but have one more thing to add for the 2012-13 “environmental year”.
With my new foray into sewing and fashion since last fall, though, this will be the area of my Earth Day environmental focus for this upcoming “environmental year”. Below is what I plan to do to start. However, because I need to do a lot more research in this, I will have to add more specifics as I go along. Any suggestions anybody’s got is much appreciated. Thanks!
Buy remainders when possible
This one is good for the pocket books and the Earth. There is a lot of great fabric on remainders, at cheap prices, and ready to be discarded somewhere down the road, if not immediately after the store they’re in. It’s usually not possible to find what you want there when you want it, but challenge myself to work with what is there when possible rather than being closed minded to get what is obvious for what I want and/or need. Also, buy from other people’s stash when possible as they may really throw out the fabrics if no one gets it. Finally, possibly buy second hand clothes made of nice fabric the rare time I see it. Could be for decorative purposes, or just extra large size to get enough fabrics for tiny me.
Don’t buy more fabrics than you have storage space
It’s hard to find the fabric you want right at the time you want. That’s why when you see something you know you can use, you buy it, especially if it’s on sale. I’m into things enough now that I have my own fabric stash. However, I can’t let this get out of control. I’m only going to buy fabrics I know what I can use it for, even if I’m not going to be doing it any time soon.
Cotton is nasty on the environment. I’m not sure I’m even buying into the organic cotton. It feels nice, sure, and other fabrics have toxicity associated with them, too, but this is my gut reaction to cotton. I may change this with further research.
Don’t limit sustainability to fabrics
While fabrics is what I buy the most for my sewing, there are certainly lots of other things like threads, buttons and various notions. I need to uphold my efforts for fabrics to notions and everything else I do associated with sewing and fashion design. This could range from digital books instead of real ones, finding used items
Ask questions about sustainability of what I buy
This may end up being more a noble aspiration than a practical one. I don’t find the sales people at fabric stores where I live to be very knowledgeable of environmental features, backgrounds and/or impact of the fabrics in their stores. They don’t seem to know much about the source of the fabric, even, like from where it came and such. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. I’ll just end up being annoying in the process.
Do more research
I’ve never been so unprepared for an Earth Day goal as this year. There is a LOT for me to learn, to say the least. Any help you or others could provide would be appreciated. I will blog what I learn throughout the year.