Quilters are recyclers by nature – the history of quilts is the history of textile reuse and repurposing. Dressed, flour sacks, coats, pieces of fabric sourced from any and every where made into warm and decorative blankets have appeared through the ages as women (mainly) made what they needed from what they had on hand. Nothing wasted – if it was too small, or too worn to be made into a top it became wadding. When every scrap of fabric took untold hand work to create it was to precious to throw out.
In today’s technological world we can buy fabric with little or no thought to how it was produced or who’s hands it was made by. We don’t have a strong connection with the source of the fiber, the spinner, dyer or weaver who worked on it to bring it to us. Our fabrics are mostly machine made, mostly pretty inexpensive and far too easy to discard without a thought.
Canadian Quilter published a recent article on 11 things quilters can do to help made the industry more sustainable which offers some great suggestions for improving your sustainability as a quilter.
The Canadian Quilting Association is also hosting a Sustainability Challenge between now and March of 2023 – details can be found here.
As with many things in our lives the goal isn’t to be perfect right out of the gate – just to learn what we can change and as we know better we can do better.