There are many reasons why people like to craft: enjoyment is one (though remind me of that when my sewing machine plays up); another is the joy of giving a home-made gift – and seeing the recipient’s face when they realise the time and love that went into it. Cost could be a third – it’s often cheaper to make your own clothes, decorations, cards and gifts than buying them, and you can customise them to your own tastes.
Another reason to make – and mend – your own, is to reduce your impact on the environment. The best way to make a statement as a consumer is to keep your pennies out of the parts of the supply chain you don’t like, whether that’s mass-produced cheap clothes, produce like beads or embellishments from countries with poor human rights records or which use air-freight, or items that use non-organic dyes and pesticides, like cottons and other fabrics and wools. If you don’t approve of waste and landfill, it’s always better to re-use or re-purpose something than buy something new.
These are some of the reasons that we decided to adopt re-using and re-cycling as our club theme this year. Another is the interest of many of our members in keeping old crafts alive. Not many of us knows how to darn properly (though Caroline does if anyone wants to learn!) And not too many of us make their own bread either. But a lot of us shop in charity shops, make their own cakes, and turn their old cards into something new – as Zoe will show us at next week’s workshop. So this theme is also about challenging ourselves to learn new crafts and see materials in a new light.
What it’s not about is making anyone feel guilty. Which of us hasn’t been tempted by a new ball of wool or two, or some shiny new scissors/stamps/needles at some stage? Lots of our projects will undoubtedly still be about making new things. But we hope that along the way we’ll find some new ways to think about crafting, engage with the skills our mothers and grandmothers had (and maybe a few fathers and grandfathers too!).
So in between our other activities and blog posts this year, we’ll be thinking of meetups which feature recycling and re-using, and showcasing projects on that theme too. If you have any ideas or would like to feature a project of your own then please get in touch! In the meantime, happy repurposing new year!!