We are excited to continue our weekly series, FeelGood Features, with fiber artist Emma Constantine! FeelGood Features will do exactly what its name implies: feature a new fiber artist each week. Our goal is to feature artitsts that work primarily with upcycled/recycled and sustainable materials. Because it’s not only important WHY we quilt, but it’s also important HOW we quilt. Our hope is that this series will introduce you to artists that you will love learning about and demonstrate the ways in which you, too, can incorporate sustainable materials into your craft. Thanks for being here!
FeelGood Features: Emma Constantine
Emma Constantine is a UK-based fiber artist, rescuing textiles from the landfill and making them into useable art.
Connect with Emma at the following:
Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/jupupcycle
Why do you feel called to use upcycled or recycled materials in your work?
I upcycle fabric scraps and fabric that has been discarded because I am extremely passionate about keeping the earth wild and beautiful. My skills in sewing mean that I can reduce waste in a way that is actually fun and interesting for me. I started doing this when I first saw someone making fabric scraps out of twine and just thought it was so clever. I now teach this as a free workshop as well as teaching how to make baskets and plant hangers from the handmade twine. The scraps I use come from other small businesses and community groups, thereby helping others to reduce their waste too.
The impact of using fabric scraps gives me an incredible sense of achievement and purpose. When I am demotivated or uninspired, I simply imagine all the animals in their natural habitat and this inspires me again to do my bit to sustain the earth’s beauty and keep the animals safe. The piles of landfill that we see disgusts me and I want to add to it as little as possible.
What project are you working on now and how would you describe it?
One of the projects I’m working on is a collaboration with Educate The Kids, a charity who create hygiene packs for girls in Kenya and educates them about their menstruation. For every reusable period pad (made from textile offcuts, old towels and broken umbrellas) bought from me, the same amount is donated to this charity and will end up in the hands of a girl who wouldn’t otherwise access this product. Life-changing!
Thank you so much for sharing your work and philosophy with us, Emma! It’s amazing what you make with fabric scraps! For more of Emma’s work, follow her on Instagram. You can purchase Emma’s art from her Etsy Shop, and participate in her classes through the link here.