Minimizing our carbon footprint and learning to sew more sustainably helps to reduce and reverse the damage done in the fashion industry. Sewing your own clothing is a great way to be more environmentally friendly when taking mindful measures during the entire process. Keep reading for sewing and purchasing tips for eco-friendly fabric.
What does it mean to be eco-friendly/sustainable?
Sustainable sewing means leaving a minimal impact on the environment. Eco-friendly fabric is better than its counterpart because it requires less chemical processing. Slow fashion has been a hot topic, and in the same way, it’s possible to create slow sewing.
Tips for More Mindful Sewing
- Buy fabrics with intention by choosing a quality fabric that will last.
- Get educated with fabric choices by noting what fibers can be recycled, like 100% cotton instead of polyester.
- Look for fair trade and ethical production in fabrics.
- Choose fabric wisely by using eco-friendly materials, like organic cotton, Tencel, recycled fibers, etc.).
- Keep an eye out for fabric remnants or deadstock fabric. Deadstock is unused or unsold fabric that would otherwise be discarded.
- Choose fabrics that are biodegradable, recycled, or repurposed.
- In general, natural or semi-synthetic fibers are better than fully synthetic fibers, which undergo a lot of chemical and mechanical processes.
- When cutting patterns, focus on optimal cutting placement to optimize fabric usage.
- Zero-waste or minimal-waste patterns are a good option for minimizing fabric scraps.
- Know your style, so you’re choosing patterns that suit you.
- Choose timeless patterns and solid colors for designs to be used for a long time.
- Consider sewing a capsule wardrobe to zero in on really versatile core pieces.
- Sew with care to avoid mistakes and achieve a good fit.
- Use scraps for small projects.
- Repurpose old patterns or clothing when possible, including their notions (buttons, zippers, etc.).
- Take care of sewing tools and sewing machines to enhance their longevity and replacement time.
- Donate or swap unused fabric or garments to give them a second chance.
- Mend clothing you own instead of tossing it when wear and tear occurs.
Sewing sustainably is a philosophy that encourages room for improvements, like sewing less for fun and more for a purpose. It’s important to enjoy the process by making it nice instead of making it twice. Sewing with intention encourages less waste.
What sustainable practices have you adopted in your sewing practices? Leave a comment below!