Thursday, August 6, 2009

10 Solid Reasons

4 solid reasons to buy handmade:

1~ Individuality. Go into any chain clothing store and what do you see? Rows and rows of same-ness. Boring! Be different. Most handmade things are one-of-a-kind, baby! So are you. So dress like it! Now understand: when I say handmade, I mean handcrafted, with love and creativity. Not just something put together in a factory, albeit with someone's hands.

2~ Sweatshops. We all know they're bad. We all know those people work under horrible conditions, making pennies a day. Of course the argument could be that they need that money to feed themselves and their families, that's true enough and I bet most of them are glad to have their jobs. But plenty of people here in the USA are also slaving away, making wonderful handmade goods for you and just trying to survive! See, here's my sweatshop:

Dark, cramped, dirty...
(Don't get me wrong though, sweatshops aren't funny)

3~ Keep those old traditions alive- crochet, knitting, sewing, painting, woodworking, soapmaking, baking, tatting, weaving, ceramics, sculpture, and more- when you buy handmade, you keep those handicrafts alive. Usually those items are made with lots of love and creative expression. Who wants a world created by robots?

4~ Natural. Many handmade items aren't made with tons of chemicals, dyes, and nasty fake stuff. You don't have to get all hippie and organic, but have you looked at the ingredients of some of the store-bought stuff we put on and in our bodies? But take handmade products- like soap, for example- most of the ones I found had only a few ingredients, and I could pronounce and identify each one! :)

The textile manufacturing process is a giant ball of negative environmental impacts. But we have to have clothes. And it's nice to have cute ones at that. And I looooove fabric. But there's just so much fabric and clothing already out there, that if we could just reuse what we've got without making more we could reduce some of the waste. There's so much waste. So with that, I give you...

6 solid reasons to buy recycled, upcycled and reconstructed clothing:

1~ Cotton is one of the most water and pesticide dependent crops. According to reactions, cotton "occupies only 3% of the world’s farmland yet demands fully 25% of the world’s chemical pesticides and fertilizers." By reusing and recycling things made of cotton we can decrease chemical usage that would otherwise be applied to the growth of new cotton.

2~ Sizing.
Sizing is a binding agent (glue) applied to fibers before weaving in order to reduce breakage and dust production during the weaving process. Usually the sizing is a starch or a synthetic polyacrylic compound. This makes the fabric stiff and needs to be removed before it's dyed or made into clothing. Scouring and/or solvents are used to remove the size, and generally the waste product is disposed of in water, increasing the chances of water pollution.
(Environmental Impact of Textiles by Keith Slater)

3~ Dust. It gets in the air, it gets in your lungs, it's gotta go somewhere...

( Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry by Luz Claudio)

4~ Synthetic fabrics. Polyester is made from petroleum and the production process is "energy intensive and results in significant emissions, including large amounts of a potent climate change gas – carbon dioxide" (cazco interiors ltd). Nylon, a similar polyamide (synthetic fiber) can take 30-40 years to decompose. Reuse that stuff as much as you can! Stop making more, it never goes away!

5~ Landfills. They're pretty full already...

6~ Sheep Dip. "The term sheep dip refers to a liquid formulation of insecticide and fungicide which shepherds and farmers may use to protect their sheep from infestation against external parasites such as itch mite (Psorobia ovis), blow fly, ticks, keds and lice" (Wikipedia). Not only do the sheep have to be dunked into this stuff, but it's also dangerous for the farmers, and those chemicals have to be disposed of somehow. That poor sheep already has been dunked once, why not reuse that wool and save him a chemical bath?

There you have it. 10 solid reasons. What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

Paper Squid said...

These are some really great points to bring up & share with people who maybe haven't realized them. Thanks =)