Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I’m not so bad. I recycle my glass, plastic bottles, cans, paper. I don’t use carrier bags. I write on both sides of the paper. I grow my own. I make resusable gift bags! I do my bit.

But there’s so much more. And the more I look, the more there seems to be.

A timely post from Megan Nielsen about polyester fabric hit home as I’ve been considering the pros and cons of man-made and natural fibres and fabrics for a good while now.

There is so much to think about. To scrape the surface:

– Are the origins of the fabric sustainable?
Plant-based, oil-based, animal-based? Not so straightforward as it brings into play the whole huge “Is farming of livestock sustainable and ethical?” question. With veganism on the rise (half a million vegans in the UK, that's about 1 in every 130, at the time of writing), where does that leave our fashion industry?

– Is the production of the fabric environmentally safe and ethical?
Almost all raw materials undergo processing using chemicals which affect workers and the environment. Some are worse than others. The jeans industry, for example, is horrendous when you look into the 
toxic chemicals, sandblasting, water usage, pesticides, and dangerous working conditions.

– Is recycling the way forward?
Yes, and no. Fleece jackets made from recycled plastic bottles seems like a wonderful idea! Fibres from said jackets coming out in the wash and being found in vast amounts in our oceans, and entering our food chain? Oops, who saw that coming? 

It’s a challenging issue for anyone who is creative. Every time we create something we have an impact on our environment. I like the ethos of Project 333 from bemorewithless. As someone who has spent x amount of years accumulating ‘stuff’, it was like a breath of fresh air for me to spring-clean my wardrobe this year!  I’m certainly not there yet, but it has made me think about my unnecessary consumerism. How many of us have clothing in our wardrobes that we don’t like, that doesn’t fit properly or still has the tag on, even though we bought it months (or years!) ago? 

So, I’m trying to buy fabric and yarn with the garment in mind, that I know fills a gap in my wardrobe, and not just because I’d like another tee or dress, or trousers. It’s not going to be easy and I do have a rather hefty stash to work through first! But I’d rather make something I need, in good quality fabric, that I will love wearing again and again and again. The fashion industry makes it’s money because it is ever-changing and trend-led. Who’s brave enough to ditch being fashionable for being stylish?