How do you stay mindful of the earth in your crafting? Are you mindful of where your materials come from or what they’re made of? Do you keep and use your projects for years? Do you like to craft outside to be closer to nature? Is Nature the inspiration behind what you craft? These are a few of the things I like to do as a crafter to be mindful of the earth in little ways every day. I like to think that no effort put towards actualizing the vision of a better future is wasted, and I’d love to hear about the little things you do in your crafting life to stay mindful of our planet!
Darn Good Yarn is always working to be earth friendly, and to help you achieve that goal as well. We often draw inspiration from nature for the beautiful colorways of yarn that we offer. You may also notice influences from the natural world showing up in the patterns of your recycled sari products. When you look at yarns like Machu Picchu, Nebula, or Midnight Pines, (all special featured in our warehouse manager Jay's new Landscape Lovers box) we hope you can see the inspiration behind the colors. We also hope to inspire you to think about places and sights like these while you use them. To us, the natural world is so important to artistry which is one of the reasons we work to preserve it!
Personally, after a long day at the office I like to sit out on a sunny patch of grass with my water bottle and whatever project I’m working on at the moment, and relax. Of course, that’s if the weather cooperates! But sitting out, feeling the grass under my feet, the sun on my face, and hearing the birds sing to each other is the best part of any day. I do try to find a moment to go outside each day even if the weather is less than ideal. The past year of lockdowns has really emphasized for me, how important it is to spend time outside. I have found that in doing this, the little bits of nature that I see, end up as inspiration for my designs or projects. A good relationship with the nature that’s around you is a great way to grow your love for the planet and get inspired!
Below is one of my favorite views from home, the river is perfectly still like this in the early morning before the wind and people start to make waves. It's the perfect place to get a little peace and quiet!
Whether you’re a project crafter, or a process crafter, once your item is finished it continues to hold special meaning. When we invest so much of our time and energy into a project, it’s not so easily gotten rid of or thrown away. Apart from the things I give away as gifts, I have kept every single one of my knitting or crochet projects. I have little (unfinished) dolls from when I was just learning to crochet, market bags, clothes, wash cloths, soap savers, blankets and more that I’ve made and kept over the years. I also tend not to buy things that I feel like I could make for myself. This kind of mindset that crafters tend to have, to hold on to and make use of the items we create, is a large part of working towards sustainability and away from things like the fast fashion industry. When we can make things that last, that are the exact color or size that we want them to be, and are worth the time and effort to mend, we don’t tend to discard them and buy new all the time. Little things like this that we do, might not seem important but they do have an impact that will last just as long as anything in a landfill (precisely because it isn’t in a landfill).
Finally, the materials that we use when we craft play a role in sustainability. When shopping for craft supplies, I like to think about not only what is going to be great to use with whichever project I have in mind but also about what it will be made of. Natural plant or protein fibers are more kind to the earth, but they may not be the best for every project, and that’s ok. Each person can’t be 100% perfect all the time (that’s pretty impossible if you ask me), but differences are made when we all collectively try our best when we can. Darn Good Yarn offers a wide variety of recycled, or naturally dyed products to help you get excited about fibers that are earth friendly! To date we have given new life to over 1.2 million pounds of material destined to end up in landfills. We give new life to that material in the form of sari wrap skirts, sari bags, silk yarns, and many more handmade products. You give new life to that material too, working our recycled yarns up into garments, home decor, and accessories!
When you buy from DGY, you can be comforted in knowing that we’ve done our best to deliver the most earth friendly products that we can. We have more of a focus on sustainability in crafting than just our products as well, we’re also on a mission to support restorative agriculture through our partnership with Trees For The Future. We believe in Trees For The Future's approach of looking at the whole landscape and using the land sustainably with a focus on restoring the land to a more natural state, in partnership with the farmers who live on and care for the land already. We use the most sustainable shipping method and containers that are available to us, and we hope that these practices will be continued long into the future!