Lately, I’ve been re-reading a lot of the books I read for my dissertation. I’m finding it to be a very positive exercise as it’s reminding me why I’m doing what I’m doing — and why I choose to upcycle or repurpose existing materials first, buy sustainable materials a close second and use recycled materials as a last resort. So for now I’m going to leave you with these words from the first pages of Cradle to Cradle:

“But wait a minute – you care about the environment. In fact, when you went shopping for a carpet recently, you deliberately chose one made from recycled polyester soda bottles. Recycled? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say downcycled. Good intentions aside, your rug is made of things that were never designed with this further use in mind, and wrestling them into this form has required as much energy — and generated as much waste — as producing a new carpet. And all that effort has only succeeded in postponing the usual fate of products by a life cycle or two.”

My ultimate dream is to produce products than can be safely (even beneficially) composted, and being such a long way from that makes me wonder why I bother sometimes. I mean, if I didn’t restrict my material & process choices so strictly, I could produce far more colourful, versatile, trendy products, I wouldn’t have to spend hours and hours looking for fabrics that fit my standard, and I wouldn’t worry all the time about what it all means for the health of our environment. And I could lower my prices.

But that’s just not how my mind works! Fortunately for me, limitations can only encourage creativity … right?

Hopefully tomorrow, I’ll have a tutorial for you :) So go find an old t-shirt and a scrap of felt!