When the Sewcialists survey results were out, I was super excited to see that sustainable sewing was one of the top votes! In the past few years the sustainable fashion movement has really gained momentum and it is fantastic to see the sewing community pick this up as well.
So what about the theme month? Well, we’ve designed it to be an introduction to the idea of sustainable sewing and what it means to you. That means kicking around ideas for approaching your sewing practice differently, and of course sharing some finished projects which were made with sustainability in mind!
If you are new to the sustainability movement, it can be challenging to know where to start. After all, what does sustainability mean? Whilst a dictionary definition of sustainable will refer to the ability to maintain at a certain rate or level, its application to terms like a “sustainable life” or “sustainable sewing” is open to interpretation. Personally, I have found that you can’t look at sustainability without coming across these sorts of buzzwords:
But honestly it really doesn’t matter what labels we use to describe what we do, or whether you think most of the stuff is a load of rubbish or you believe in all of it. The common theme that speaks to me when I see all of these terms is less. Using less, buying less, being more conscious. But that is just me – for you, its your choice how you want to tackle sustainability and there is no right or wrong answer.
Below is a small list of resources and fun stuff I like which has a heavy sewing and sustainability focus, plus some things I’ve done. Also included are some non-sewing specific favourites I’ve seen floating around in the sewing community.
I know that the list could do with a whole lot more diversity. We’ve done some googling but not come up with a lot and to be honest, I’ve noticed a general lack of diversity when looking at sustainable fashion and lifestyle resources (that’s a separate discussion for another day). So we would really appreciate if you had anything to add that you share it in the comments with us!
Blogs / websites
- Megan Nielsen (pattern designer) – sustainable sewing blog series
- Wendy Ward (pattern designer and author) has sustainability posts on her blog
- Meghann HalfMoon (pattern designer) – ethical fabric shopping directory here
- Seamwork article – zero waste sewing
- Aboubakar Fofana (more textiles than sewing related) – read his Instagram posts about African arts and traditions and the textile trade.
- Grace @Bad Mom Good Mom blog – as well as sewing, Grace writes a bunch of environmental related posts – and is highly qualified to do so! You will always learn something from her.
- Josie @songofthesewingmachine blog – Josie does a lot of upcycling and I love to see her unique and colourful creations.
- The Makery – Refashioners – an annual sewing challenge in Sept/Oct, great for finding inspiration if you don’t know where to start with refashioning
- Louisa @wornvalues blog – a philosopher, sewer, knitter, lots of thoughtful posts about slow fashion
- My own blog Time to Sew – textile production, social commentary on sustainable fahsion, and interviews with changemakers and sewing.
- Alex @Sewrendipity (blogger) – how to build a meaningful wardrobe (with capsules!) blog
- Elly @takeitupwearitout (blogger) – sustainable fashion and style blog from a costume maker (PS she loves vintage)
- The Fibre Trade – platform for buying and selling fabric and yarn
- Anuschka Rees (blogger and author) – The Curated Closet
- Amy Twigger Holroyd (academic and author) – Folk Fashion: understanding home made clothes: a book with an academic view of the sewing and knitting world (note – key word being academic, it is not a light read)
- Marie Kondo (author): The life-changing magic of tidying up
- Love to Sew podcast – episodes on sustainability here and here, and #slowfashionoctober
- Clothes Making Mavens – sustainable sewing podcast episode with me
- Stitchers Brew Podcast – a sustainability episode with me and Alex
- Declutter Your Sewing Space podcast – does what it says on the tin!
Do you have any more sustainable sewing resources that you love? Please share in the comments below!
Kate is one of the Sewcialists editors. An import to the UK from Australia, she shares her love for sustainable fashion and sewing over at Time to Sew.
Dear Reader: Our goal is to build community and make everyone feel welcome. We support crafting as an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, orientations and sizes. Regarding sewing challenge themes, we ask that you take each challenge as you see it fitting in your life, and express your involvement how you like, at the given time. Our challenges are for the pure enjoyment of participation and the love of community. Extended Mission Page Here.