As earth month continues, the topic on our minds is often how can we incorporate more sustainable habits into our quilting practice? We don’t have to aim for perfection, or even try to change things all at once. But if we all aim to be just 10% better, imagine the difference that we could make as a community! Here are seven easy ways to try being a more sustainable quilter:
1. Use sustainable materials
Choose natural and organic fabrics such as cotton, linen, hemp or bamboo, which are biodegradable and have a lower environmental impact than synthetic fabrics. When choosing cotton fabrics, look for labels such as “organic” or “OEKO-Tex Certified” to ensure that fabrics are manufactured without harmful substances.
2. Reduce waste
Plan your quilt design carefully to minimize waste. Opt for patterns that are designed as zero or minimal waste. You can also use scrap fabrics from previous projects or repurpose old clothes or linens.
3. Use eco-friendly batting
Look for batting made from natural fibers such as bamboo, cotton, wool or silk. Avoid batting made from synthetic materials such as polyester or acrylic. And of course, stitch pieces of leftover batting together to use for larger projects!
4. Use non-toxic dyes
When dyeing fabrics, choose non-toxic and eco-friendly dyes. Natural dyes made from plants, fruits and vegetables are a great option.
5. Opt for sustainable packaging
Choose products with packaging that is biodegradable or recyclable, such as paper or cardboard, instead of plastic.
6. Donate or sell your scraps
Rather than throwing away your scraps (we get it — sometimes there are just SO MANY!), consider donating them or selling them online (Feelgood Fibers is a great place to start, wink wink!). This will give your fabric a new life and reduce waste.
7. Consider your energy consumption
Be mindful of your energy consumption — even when quilting. Turn off your sewing machine and iron when not in use.
Of course this is just a short list of ways that you can be more sustainable as a quilter! By incorporating these sustainable practices into your quilting process, you can help reduce your environmental impact and create beautiful, eco-friendly quilts.
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