The past few years, I’ve become a lot more aware of the amount of waste I produce, where I shop for clothes, and I’ve also been trying to find more second hand fabric and textiles. Besides this blog, I run a hand and chainstitch embroidery business. I’ve been thinking more and more about sustainable business practices. While I’m a very small business, I find that every little effort helps when it comes to sustainability. Here’s what I’ve been doing and where I’d like to improve.
I try to shop for all of my clothing for the most part second hand. This includes any clothing that I embroider on and sell in my Etsy Shop. I love finding linen and denim pieces that are timeless to embroider on. I have also been making an effort to find vintage and secondhand fabric scraps at the thrift store instead of always buying new fabric.
Limiting Fabric Waste
I save pretty much all of my fabric scraps that I don’t use and put them in a basket that I use for various projects and to put on the back of my finished embroideries. It’s amazing how much fabric ends up in that basket, and I really try to put it to good use!
DIY Projects with Recycled or Secondhand Materials
On the blog, I try to incorporate secondhand clothing and thrifting tips into my content as well as DIY projects that use recycled materials. I have several ideas of new content coming up that use more of these as well, so keep a lookout!
I try to keep the amount of materials I use to a minimum for shipping. For example, my pet portraits come wrapped in craft paper in a bubble mailer and with one of my business cards. My embroidery kits (with the exception of one) come in a recyclable cardboard box. I don’t print off receipts because they’re already emailed to the customer.
I recently found ecoenclose and ordered some recyclable bubble mailers that are also made from 100% recycled materials that I’m really excited about!
Where I’d like to Improve
Nobody is perfect, and I know I have areas that I could improve on that I’d like to focus on for the rest of the year. I started thinking more about the fabric that I buy at Joanns and Hobby Lobby for my pet portraits and how I’d like to try and move away from new textiles and shop online for secondhand and deadstock fabric. A lot of water and chemicals are used in the textile production and dying process that I talk about in this blog post about the impact of fast fashion. Not to mention labor practices and pay for people in other countries that produce textiles and garments can be abysmal.
I couldn’t find much information about the linen and canvas I normally use, so naturally I’d like to find an ethical and organic version of these or find secondhand fabric remnants. I’ve come across two stores that sell a variety of secondhand quality fabrics that I’d like to use once I’ve ran out of the materials I already have. It’s definitely a win-win because I also love supporting other small businesses!
I hope this post inspired you, and if you run a business or love shopping secondhand, let me know in the comments what sustainable business practices you’ve put in place!
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