Who said that? Kermit? He's right. Even when we think we're doing the right thing for our environment we may not be. I was shocked to read that compostable products are not recyclable. If you put a compostable item into the recycling process the entire batch will be contaminated!
The pandemic made us all reflect on habits we were forced to change and I think many of us have decided on some positive changes for our post-pandemic lives. One of the things I reflected on was this on-going conflict I have between my concern for the environment and how the industry I represent impacts on it. I suppose I've tried to ignore the issue, after all, this is my livelihood. I certainly don't want to discourage people from buying fabric.
Lo and behold...just when this is at the tip of my consciousness a fellow quilter posted a link to a new start-up organisation in the states addressing this very issue. They cleverly launched on Earth Day this past week. It's createandsustain.org a non-profit organised by quilters and fabric designers in the USA to raise awareness, educate and work for change in the quilting industry so that we can all continue to create sustainably. These are all people who also make their living from the industry and know that with our collective voices we can make change. I was happy to join and support their work immediately. The very least I can do is encourage you to visit their website. It already has a lot of useful articles and resources and will, no doubt, continue to grow. This is not the worst industry, but it is a 4.3 billion dollar industry that has a responsibility to do better for the environment.
Going forward we will need to support manufacturers who move to the use of organic cotton fabrics and digital printing even though these come with a higher price tag.
We as quilters do buy thoughtfully and we create lasting projects. We can feel happy that, as quilters and garment makers, we are avoiding buying into 'fast, disposable fashion', we can continue to use as much of our fabric as possible down to the smallest scraps and ensure we are disposing of any excess responsibly via the textile recycling bins made available at recycling centres (we are so lucky to have these - you can't find this in rural America) or in our own compost piles - but never into landfill. An idea I hadn't considered before was using cut scraps for stuffing pet bedding. It may be worth contacting one of our local pet sanctuaries to offer up our scraps!
You've heard it before #reduce,reuse,recycle Be Green....even when it's not easy.