The very essence of sewing is green. Even if fabric manufacturers cease production tomorrow, sewers would walk into their closets, pull open their drawers or head to the nearest second-hand shop to find the necessary items to remake, restructure or repurpose. It’s what we do; it’s in our makeup. But there are lots of ways to be consciously environmentally aware. Today we are observing Earth Day in the United States, a time for people to come together worldwide to celebrate the Earth and how to protect her resources. Whether you’re shopping online for organic materials, reusing plastic containers for your notions or turning old fashions into new ones, you can use your sewing talents and ingenuity to help save our planet.
For nearly a decade, Captain Charles Moore, founder of Algalita Marine Research Foundation, has been coordinating efforts to battle “plastic soup” – a vortex of trash in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast stretching beyond Hawaii and nearly to Japan. The effect devastates marine life that mistakenly consumes rubbish as a food source. To learn more, visit www.algalita.org, and realize that the creative community can do its part to control where plastics end up. The next time you’re standing over the waste basket ready to drop in a disposable container, ask yourself what purpose it might serve in organizing notions, threads, flosses and sewing gadgets. By design, grocery item containers stack conveniently for shelf display, so they’re perfect for neat storage in a sewing room that makes an environmental statement.
Baby food containers and spice jars, both glass and plastic, make great containers for small notions and supplies. Not only do their clear sides make it easy to find what you need, but when grouped together their organizational appeal is easy to appreciate.
Bits of sewing trash and broken needles tend to accumulate in our sewing areas. Microwaveable soup bowls (with pre-cut holes in the lids); gum containers with small openings or salt and pepper shakers are excellent for disposing of dull or broken needles in a safe manner. Keep a diaper wipe container near your sewing machine for disposing of loose threads, fabric trimmings and other trash.
Save, clean and repurpose the plastic packaging of your consumables. Organize your space by storing like items together for easy access. Take a careful look at your containers and sewing materials to match size, shape and usability. We used a spray paint intended for plastics (Krylon Fusion for Plastic®) to create a cohesive look. The sky is the limit!