Bamboo is a ubiquitous sight across many parts of the tropics and subtropics, and is the fastest growing plant on the planet (reaching full maturity in around 3-5 years) and can be found in Africa, the Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Bamboo can be an important part of sustainable development in the Global South, particularly as a tool for poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation.
There are over 1600 known species, with thousands of uses. One of which is for the production of drinking straws.
In sewing an item from scratch – either using purchased materials or upcycling old items – you will experience the time, skill and patience it takes to create an item of clothing or accessory. Your journey to self sufficiency moves forward, and mending, fixing, upcycling and creating new, bespoke/tailored and exciting items becomes an enjoyable hobby: you become your own brand!
If you are interested in sustainable sewing projects, or maybe have been motivated to look into this more during COVID-19 lockdowns, here are a few ideas, patterns and links – I just hope that in inspires just one other person to replace one item which they usually buy, with a home-made / upcycled item: By sewing your own clothing and/or accessories, you are choosing a leisurely, more sustainable lifestyle and, at the same time, making a stand against fast fashion.
Your sewing skills can be used to dramatically reduce the number disposable items and products you use.
IMAGE Fewer disposables = less in landfill = more pennies in your pocket = you and the planet that little bit happier
Here are a few ideas to get you started – small steps make a huge difference! (Remember: google is your friend, and there are sew many patterns, instructions and videos out there, you are bound to find instructions and/or a tutorial which suits you and your capabilities!)
At the end of the day, the possibilities are endless…. If you need something, look online to see how to make it yourself! Upcycle old clothing into bags, wraps and even into NEW clothing items! You can let your imagination go wild, learn some new skills, and create a more sustainable way of living.
The truth of it is that, for Joe Bloggs and I, aiming for zero waste is truly difficult – alone the fact that I have not managed to source all the items I need for MY everyday life without plastic is both frustrating and deeply saddening. Some issues arise due to my disability / health and others due to low/reduced income (2020 was difficult for most businesses thanks to COVID-19), and yet more because I ordered something which is eco / zero waste / compositable etc., but it turns out it has travelled the world in order to arrive at my doorstep. I am also not in a position to change some things at this time, e.g. gas usage due to cost and feasibility. Even without a car, without taking a bus, without buying products wrapped in plastic, I managed to STILL leave a significant footprint on this planet.
As an avid sewer – and I know that I am not alone here – I take pride in repairing and upcycling items in order to lower my carbon footprint. I also know Gütermann to be one of the best brands of sewing thread in the world! I have recently discovered Gütermann Sew-all Thread rPET. Not only can they be implemented for a variety of fabrics and stitches, but they are made from 100 % recycled polyester!
I picked up some Oceansaver Anti Bac and a reusable spray bottle from Weigh of the World a few weeks ago, and it is sooooooo amazing and easy to use! So far I have only tried the Anti-Bac, with great results – others are to follow!
By using Oceansaver refill drops, the retailers will transport less water, which means fewer trucks on the road, helping to reduce carbon emissions. Also, because you are re-using your spray bottles, Oceansaver drops were developed to fight single-use plastic and preserve our oceans and sea life – A great range of home cleaning solutions made with plant-based ingredients, totally biodegradable, lab tested and proven efficacy.
Oceansaver is committed to finding affordable solutions without compromising on quality or effectiveness. They take an innovative approach to all their products and packaging, ensuring they use the latest in recyclable and biodegradable materials.
Following my Product Review on Reusable Sanitary Products in March last year, I have been producing my own Sanitary Towels. Not only have these been much more comfy to wear than those purchased, but the homemade ones have proven to weather the wear far better!
Originally, I made 2 test ones for myself (one for day and one for night), which I have used alongside those purchased, then numerous friends and businesses showed interest, so I made up more (far prettier than my “mock ups” from scrap fabrics). Now, a year later, my 2 sanitary towels still look and feel amazing, the purchased Earthwise towels look a little tatty, but are still functional, and the Eco-Femme Cotton Sanitary Night Pads have worn very badly, and although still functional, the fabric has become rough against my skin.
Compared to the brand of disposable pads I used prior, I would never go back…. No irritation and excellent absorbency!
So I set to to make some nice new towels for me for a change (haha – it was the same story with the COVID-19 masks – I have made nearly 100 for others… and still have not finished my own!).
Chocolate is one of the world’s favourite foods (it’s definitely mine!), so I was absolutely delighted when my friend, Sarah, treated me to some Cocoa Loco Dark Chocolate Ginger (OMG LOVE ginger!) from Weigh of the World a few weeks back!
That was it…. I was hooked! Since then I have continued to treat myself to these when I have been into Weigh of the World…. and then the Dark Chocolate Mango…. mmmmm REALLY love this chocolate!
There’s something to suit everyone with white chocolate, milk and dark options – the dark ones are suitable for vegans. Weigh of the World have also got a number of other flavours, including Chilli, Raspberry…. and bars!
I am delighted to announce the happy winner of the Zero Waste Lockdown Hamper competition: Claire!
The Hamper was delivered by Gary from The Car Free Guide today, and Claire was so happy to receive it! And what wonderful weather for delivery by bike and a photo!
I just met Gary and took delivery of this beautiful hamper. I’m absolutely over the moon, it’s just the most lovely thing ever! Thank you so much for organising it all and I truly feel so blessed to have been lucky enough to have won it!
Congratulations Claire! We look forward to hearing about your journey to Zero Waste living, and what you think of the products – ENJOY! (and do let us know when you do the cycle tour of Chester!)