At the Summit of Awesome a few weeks ago, I attended a session called "Crafting a Green Craft" with Urban Fauna Studio, cosa verde, and Glue and Glitter.
They got me thinking a lot about the materials that crafters use. I bow down to hand-crafted goods because they aren't mass-manufactured using questionable labor and questionable processing techniques.
But then I had a "duh" moment when I realized that oftentimes hand-crafted goods are made from materials that are mass-manufactured using questionable labor and questionable processing techniques.
For example, there are tons of depressing statistics about cotton fabrics and how much pesticide goes into producing them and how many people get sick from preparing them for mass consumption.
That's why my preferred modus operandi is upcycling: using old materials to make something new. Matt and I tried to upcycle as much as possible while planning our wedding. For example, we cut up an old dress and turned it into a tie, a sash, and flower pins for our wedding party. An added benefit of upcycling is that it's usually budget friendly!
Upcycling is not always a feasible option. As far as I can tell, the next best option is using more eco-friendly fabrics (like the ones on sale at Harts Fabric right now!).
When I went to High Fashion Fabrics last week, the eco-friendly selection was disappointing so I opted for Amy Butler's regular cotton (oh, Amy, when you are going to produce an organic line?). I didn't beat myself up about it too much because I'll probably wear that hat for the next ten years (I'm not the kind of girl who needs a new wardrobe each season).