#8: Is Sewing Sustainable?

Check Your Thread
Check Your Thread
#8: Is Sewing Sustainable?

It’s episode 8 of CYT, and in this solo episode I’ve posed myself the question: is sewing sustainable? I share my musings on the concept of sustainability, particularly as it relates to sewing, and how we need to be wary of over simplification and greenwashing. Plus I discuss what I consider to be the overarching goal for sewing in a more sustainable way, and ideas for how we can achieve it. Making clothing that fits our bodies, personal style and lifestyle requirements can guarantee that we’re making garments and accessories that will see lots of use and last us a long, long time. 

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Read about my recent linen Arden pants make HERE and see below, as mentioned in previous episode introductions. 

Check out my newly finished autumnal Vali blouse HERE and see below.

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4 comments on “#8: Is Sewing Sustainable?

  1. Rachel says:

    Really enjoying your podcast! I completely agree that sewing one’s own wardrobe is, at best, MORE sustainable – but that goes for pretty much all human activities.

    I have just spent my morning making a mock-up bodice out of worn-out bedsheet scraps. It’s for my daughter’s graduation gown. Once we’ve got the fitting sorted, we’ll make the dress itself out of deadstock designer silk. Is a graduation dress really necessary? Should the garment industry be producing so much surplus fabric in the first place? We could have bought a second-hand dress, I suppose, but she has an unusual figure type, has sensory issues that make her very uncomfortable in synthetic fibres, and she’s learning to sew and in love with all the pretty things… I think this is an honourable compromise.

    On the subject of recycling sewing needles, I don’t know of a service that will take them, but until I do, I store all my used or damaged pins and needles in a small container. I buy plain steel-headed pins to make future recycling more straightforward.

  2. Zoe says:

    Hi Rachel, thanks so much for your comment! It’s fantastic to hear that you’re enjoying the podcast.

    I hope your daughter’s graduation gown is going well, that’s a big project! I completely agree, it sounds like the absolute best compromise. Did I need to make my wedding dress? No. Have I worn it more than once? No! Could I have bought a second hand dress that would have done the job? Yep. But I made it and I loved it. If the majority of the items I make see a long life and multiple wears, I don’t think we can ask much more from ourselves can we?

    Thanks for your thoughts on the subject of sewing needles and pins. I have a little tub that used to contain vitamins that I’ve started for the same purpose. That’s a great point you make about steel-head pins rather than plastic head ones. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of what to do with them!

    Thanks again!
    Zoe x

  3. C says:

    Although I haven’t taken them yet, I’m saving my blunt/broken sewing machine needles and will be taking them to my local council refuse tip and put them into the metal recycling section…..

    1. zoe says:

      Hi! Thanks so much for your comment. That’s a really great idea. What kind of container are you using? Do you plan to label them in some way when you take them to the recycling place? Thanks, Zoe x

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