Hey bestie! Welcome back to the blog! With Earth Month in full swing, I wanted to share a few things I’ve started to implement in my sewing routine to help me be a more sustainable sewist. These aren’t super groundbreaking things, but as a sewist, I know through fabric waste, paper waste, and overall choices I make for my designs have a large environmental impact! I want to have a more positive environmental impact! After all, that was a main reason for me starting to sew! So today, I am sharing my 5 sustainable sewist tips with you!
Choosing Sustainable Fabrics
When it comes to choosing fabrics for your projects, look for sustainable options such as organic cotton, linen, hemp, and bamboo. These fabrics are grown without harmful pesticides and are often produced using less water and energy. Plus, many hemp fabrics are actually antimicrobial! It’s a great fabric to have in your summertime wardrobe to prevent smelly clothes, along with very breathable silhouettes. When I shop new fabrics, I tend to lean on Blackbird Fabrics along with The Fabric Store for their selection of high quality sustainable fabrics.
Use Upcycled or Recycled Materials
Rather than buying new fabrics, consider repurposing old clothes, curtains, or sheets for your projects. This not only reduces waste but can also add a unique touch to your creations. Plus, there are countless options now for buying secondhand craft supplies. Most projects I sew, I always head over to Thistle Creative Reuse to shop their selection of donated materials before I shop the stores mentioned above! Often times, I find just what I need, or I can ask them to keep an eye out for items if the project can wait a little bit. Some of my favorite projects have been sewn from items bought at Thistle, like the Scrap Bag!
Sewing can generate a lot of waste, from fabric scraps to thread spools, all the way to extra little scraps that you’re not to sure what to do with. To reduce waste, consider using fabric scraps for smaller projects, like the scrap bag, or even donating bigger pieces and quarter yards to organizations like Thistle! Always check with local organizations first before donating though. If they can’t take them, you can always try the For Days Take Back Bag program! It’s a great program that you can send your scraps, clothes, thread snips, your name it in to be recycled. If you just want to send the bag on your own, you can also ship it to their warehouse directly at the below address:
1600 E. SAN ANTONIO STREET
EL PASO, TEXAS 79901
Invest in high quality tools
Some of my sewing tools have been passed down to me from my grandmothers, and I even have sewing shears from my great grandma! Investing in quality sewing tools such as scissors, pins, and needles can reduce the need for replacements over time, which ultimately reduces waste. To make steel scissors, it’s a laborious process that requires many materials that are often non renewable. So when you invest in high quality materials, you’re able to keep them a lifetime and even pass them on to the next generation of sewists! When I do need supplies, I tend to buy high quality items from Wawak for the best bang for my buck!
Mend and Repair
Rather than tossing out clothes that need minor repairs, consider fixing them instead. Mending and repairing clothes not only reduces waste but also extends the life of your wardrobe. I often times pull my mended items into a pile, then once a quarter put on my favorite TV Show and mend away! Wear, Repair, Repurpose is a great book to get started with mending, then for more advanced skills, the Make, Sew and Mend: Traditional Techniques to Sustainably Maintain and Refashion Your Clothes is another great resource for mending! Here’s a few I’ve had my eyes on!
Wash with care
When you are washing your fabrics, being mindful of how you wash and care for your me-made clothes is a must. Use eco-friendly detergents, wash in cold water, and air-dry when possible are all steps you can take to be as sustainable as possible with your garments. This reduces energy consumption and prolongs the life of your clothes. Often times after I wear something, I’ll hang it on a rack to air out before I wear it again! I try to do my best and wear tops 3-5 times, jeans 10 or more times, pants 5-10 times, and intimates once before I wash. That way I know when I wash them they have been worn a few times to make the wash make sense!
Ready to be a sustainable sewist?
By adopting these sustainable sewing practices, you can reduce your environmental impact and create beautiful, long-lasting creations. Remember that every small step counts, and together, we can make a positive impact on the planet through our craft! Even if you just pick up one sustainable practice, every little bit counts towards a better future for our planet.