It started with a tin of buttons
I grew up with my Mum and 2 grandmas always busy sewing, knitting (and baking). What was the point of buying something if you could just make it yourself? Never throw anything away as there is always some way to mend it, or use the fabric for something else. These were the attitudes I grew up with, and it couldn’t help but catch on – from as soon as I could hold a needle, I was happily stitching away being just like my Mum and Grandmas.
After studying Fashion & Textiles at uni, and some amazing adventures travelling around the world, I became even more focused on recycling, and reusing, in order not to ruin our beautiful world any further with more waste! Most of my materials I use for my creations come from charity shops, and any new fabrics bought are fairly traded or organic as much as possible.
And then buttons. I inherited my Granny’s beautifully battered button tin a long time ago, and have since developed a love for collecting buttons. I buy them in far too large a quantity from charity shops and use them to decorate everything, from eyes on an owl to actual functioning fasteners on a skirt.
All of my creations, are bright, fun and exciting and I do hope they make you smile.
In my day to day life, I try to be as environmentally aware as possible. I cycle everywhere. If a market is inside, I get public transport there, and only drive to markets when I have to (it would be impossible to take a gazebo and weights on public transport!!), but have just bought a 100% electric car and I love it! I usually charge it slowly at home, using our 100% renewable energy tariff. I do also often lift share with another market trader though, who lives near me, and does lots of the same markets.
I have given up single use plastic – I basically buy everything naked, and it’s a great, fun challenge! Some things are easy; fruit and veg (local stall on high street), pasta, rice etc (fabulous bulk food store http://www.thesourcebulkfoods.co.uk), cleaning products (same bulk food store does liquid refills – or I make my own!), sweets (Wilko’s does a cup pick and mix, and I’ve only ever had 1 cup, along with a beeswax wrap lid!).
Some things are hard; yoghurt (I occasionally buy Riverford’s Organic yoghurt in a glass jar, but it’s very expensive), crisps (Walker’s stax, various snacks from the Source, or I do occasionally make my own, but sometimes I really miss Kettle chips!!), crackers (I bake my own, but they are never quite as crispy!)
Our house (and therefore my sewing machines) is powered by green electricity, and we don’t have gas.
There are of course still ways I could improve, but I feel like every little helps, and the more we can try and do collectively, the better!
In that sense, buying fewer, lovingly handmade items (like mine and all the others at the markets I do), leads to much less waste, and happier small business owners.
Thank you for reading!