Lately I have been thinking a lot about responsible crafting. Sounds kind of silly I realize, but if you really think about it, it starts to make sense. There are so many green initiatives out there right now. Some of them make a lot of sense, some of them less so. We are all striving to recycle what can be recycled by simple things like taking the recycling to the curb on trash day If you are anything like me you pat yourself on the back just a little for doing that because it is a tangible way that we can feel that we are contributing to saving the world. Anyone from my generation that watched Captain Planet as a child has that spark of global responsibility and takes pride in it. That is not a bad thing. In fact I love that the kids I work with know to take their paper waste to the recycling bin rather than to just throw it away. I started a recycling initiative in Children’s Chapel at my precious position and the place that I am now had a very healthy recycling program in place. All of that is amazing.
If we can do all of that, then we can apply those same principles to other parts of our lives, specifically our passions. In my case that passion is crafting. I am just now spreading my crafter wings and trying new things. That being the case I am trying to develop good, sustainable habits that conform to my core principles. On the practical side what that means is that I rarely (as in next to never), buy brand new fabric. There are so many remnants, fragments, and forgotten pieces in closets, attics, storage spaces, thrift stores, and on that hideous skirt that no one will ever wear the way it looks right now that I just can’t justify to myself not finding a use for all of those pieces. If material were something I thought had plenty of uses by other people and that was never thrown out then I might not feel this way, but that is not the case. People still throw clothing and remnants away even with perfectly convenient Good Will drop boxes in proximity.
I know what you might be thinking, “Ew, you don’t know where that remnant, fragment, old skirt etc.. has been”. That’s true, I don’t really know. However I do know that if I wash something with hot water and soap a couple of times no matter where it has been it will be practically like new. If that doesn’t ease your mind lets think about the other side of this for a moment shall we. How many people touch or try on a “new in store” handbag, shirt, skirt, tie etc.. before it ever gets taken off the rack and brought home by its unsuspecting new owner? That should boggle the mind.
This principle applies to other crafts as well. Anything that was old can be like new again. That is what decoupage is for. The next time you are throwing something out pause for just a second and think about what it could be. What glorious new life could you bring to that item you previously thought of as trash or good will worthy? That ratty old tshirt that you once loved can be a purse liner, or a headband, or a scarf. Toilet paper rolls can be anything as well all know. There are literally thousands of blogs and Pinterest articles about Green crafts or recycled crafts or making that old men’s shirt into something glorious. Go forth and do something crafty this weekend. I plan to.