A guest post from Victoria Klein, author of 48 Things To Know About Sustainable Living.
Hi, hello there. Victoria Klein here – you might remember me from my Find Your Creative Spark in Physical Motion post a few months ago. I’m back to chat with you again, but not about yoga. Let’s chat about crafting.
Whether you create new things out of a personal passion, growing a small business, or both, there’s one thing you might not have contemplated:
where do my supplies come from?
No, I’m not talking about Joann Fabrics or Michael’s or your favorite online seller. Where do your supplies come from? What are you supplies made from? (Even supplies have supplies!)
You may be surprised to find that you yarn, paint, clay, fabric, paper, or glaze is made in a dirty factory in a third-world country by underpaid workers exposed to toxic chemicals which – eep – are also in your supplies. This is the dark reality of our burgeoning love for crafting.
Sustainability to the rescue! Like so many other areas of our lives, we have a choice when it comes to the supplies we use in our crafty endeavors. Eco-friendly supplies come in a variety of forms: organic, natural, non-toxic, repurposed, biodegradable, water- based, vintage, local, refillable, recycled – just to name a few. They all have one thing on common: sustainable crafting supplies were developed and created to have the lowest possible impact on the environment or your health.
Choosing “green” supplies is not only a healthy personal choice, but it is also quite business-savvy. You won’t want to voluntarily expose yourself or your family to toxic chemicals or encourage environmental degradation (i.e. removing entire forests, water and air pollution … etc.) – why would you do the same to your customers?
The availability of sustainable crafting supplies continues to grow steadily. Name a resource and there’s an 80% chance there’s a more eco-friendly alternative. To spur your creativity (and planet-consciousness), here are a few fantastic sites you’ll bookmark in a heartbeat:
- EcoArt Works
- Ecosmart World
- O Ecotextiles
- Stubby Pencil Studios
- Earth-Friendly Yarns
- NearSea Naturals
- Dick Blick
- Etsy (search the “Vintage” and/or “Supplies” categories)
Integrating sustainability into any realm of your life is easy, affordable, and fun – yes, I said fun. That’s the whole reason I wrote my second book, titled 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living. From farmer’s markets, traveling, and vintage shops to weddings, home offices, and pets, you’ll have a great introduction to the world of eco-conscious living. Bonus: sustainable living encourages you to think outside the box, which can do wonders for those times when you are devoid of ideas or forward momentum.
No matter what or why you craft, your creative pursuits have impacts you may never experience … and I’m not talking about the positive ones. Choosing sustainable supplies is the best bet for the entire world (even if you’re only crocheting a potholder).
How do you craft sustainably?
About Victoria Klein
Victoria Klein is a freelance writer, photographer + creative dabbler. Her 2nd book, 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living, was released in October 2010. Her 1st book, 27 Things to Know About Yoga, was released in July 2010.