Happy New Year! It’s been one year since I clicked ‘Publish’ on this, my little corner of the internet and I have lots of thoughts on how that year has gone. I won’t go into the epic saga of my not succeeding to move house in 2018, instead I want to look at my sewing/sustainability goals and take a hard look at how those went.
I started off the year talking about my sustainable goals in this blog post. It was basically split into three sections:
- Sustainable Fabrics
- Zero Waste
- Don’t mass Produce
Let’s look at each of these in turn. Firstly, ‘Sustainable Fabrics’ – I largely have switched to working with fabrics that I am ethically happier to use. I try and select organic fabrics where I can afford them. I have given Cupro and Tencel a try which I am pleased about as it was part of my goal to try more ‘ethical’ fibres that are new to me. The main change I have made is (due to the increasingly concerning rise of microplastics) I have not sewn with any any Polyester or Acrylic fabrics at all in 2018. Of course, there are problems with any fabric and I highly recommend checking out Time to Sew’s blog as Kate has done some excellent research into various fabric production processes for us to educate ourselves.
‘Zero Waste’ is definitely the goal that fared the worst as the year went on, at the beginning of 2018 I made lot’s of scrapbusting projects such as these slippers and this clutch bag, and I even used tiny scraps and trimmings to stuff these tailor’s hams (which were themselves made from scraps). But as I got more stressed with the house move and I got more opportunities to blog for businesses that approached me, my sewing time became more monopolised and was not as ethical or environmentally conscious. This is totally on me and I am making it a 2019 goal of mine to make at least one scrap busting project a month to try and keep those scraps down!
Finally the ‘Don’t mass Produce’ was also a bit of a flop. I made almost exactly the same amount of different items in 2018 as I did in 2017 (around 50! items each year!) BUT the main difference was in 2017 I made a lot more for my family, so my wardrobe grew more this year! I definitely did more slow sewing and produced more garments that are well made and should definitely stand the test of time, I am particularly proud of the finish on my Collins Top and my Morris Blazer. More of that this year for sure!
I definitely want to revisit the goal of ‘not mass producing’ this year and I am planning to start the year with a fabric buying ban. With the exception of my Minerva Crafts makes, I plan on sticking to what’s in my stash and trying to sew slower and curate a more mindful wardrobe. I would like to be nowhere near having made 50 things this year, more like half that number would be preferable!
I think overall I didn’t succeed at any of these goals and I saw a definite trend of my good intentions being more successful at the beginning of the year than at the end of it. I have definitely been better at making more sustainable choices in 2018 than ever before so perhaps I shouldn’t say I FAILED but I definitely wasn’t as angelic as my new year’s resolutions last year promised I would be.
I thought long and hard about whether to change the name of my blog at the beginning of this year, accept that I have not proven myself to be a sewing eco-warrior and leave the sustainable sewing blogging to others more ethical than myself. But I have decided to keep it the same, partly so as not to confuse people and partly because this is my journey towards more sustainable sewing and I am not perfect, I am human and every choice I make for a better world is a positive change. So I hope you will stick around as I try to improve more on what I achieved last year as I definitely think I can do better!