Thursday, 29 July 2010

Celebrating our achievements, and ethical threads

I've recently read a couple of posts, on Cliodhna's Wave and Materialistic, that I found interesting and thought provoking, and I wanted to share them with you.

Cliodhna has written about celebrating small achievements, rather than being too hard on ourselves.  I know I recognised myself in that; I'm something of a perfectionist and always try and do the very best I can, especially with my sewing but with other things as well.  I think that striving for perfection can be a good thing - how else can we ever learn and improve? - but it does mean that I tend to only ever see the faults in my work, and concentrate on the areas where I feel I could do better.

Cliodhna says, and she's absolutely right, that we should celebrate the things that went right, not worry about the things that went wrong.  We all do lots of things beautifully all the time, but then pass over them without noticing, and concentrate instead on the very few things that aren't quite up to the standards we set ourselves.  It's time to celebrate what we do and be proud of ourselves - we deserve it!

One person who should celebrate the achievement of bringing to attention an important but overlooked issue is Kelly Fletcher of Materialistic.  In a recent post, she wrote about ethically sourced products, how (or if) we know whether the threads we use are from sustainable sources or processed in decent working conditions.  I'm ashamed to admit that it never occurred to me to even think about that.  I try and buy ethically sourced and organically grown foods, but even though so much of the fabrics and threads that I use are natural (cotton, silk, wool, linen), I have no idea where it comes from or how it's produced.

Is there such a thing as a 'Fair Trade' scheme for fabrics and threads?  Should there be?  Does anyone know where the major manufacturers source their materials, or if there are any suppliers who provide ethically sourced sewing goods?

I usually use Madeira embroidery cottons and silks, so I've emailed Madeira UK to ask about them; I'll let you know what response I get, though to be fair I should point out that they already recognise public concern on this and have information on the environmental standards they use in producing their rayon threads.  I intend to contact the other major manufacturers too, and if enough of us do, then they'll have to start taking this issue seriously.

This is important - pass it on!

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