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We're shooting for sustainability...not zero waste.

Posted by Margaret Barth on

 The goal in it of itself is rather lofty and being pragmatic who's a dreamer, I know zero waste is impossible. That's right, it's called manufacturing. Even when you are a small batch company and use up cycled materials there will always be a percentage of waste. I get really infuriated when new designer or sustainable companies claims zero waste.  I don't care if you cut on the bias, you still have material waste. I know, I take sweaters apart and even sew together pieces to form a pieced part for the pattern but there is still waste. Something that is now being done digitally for patterns (I called it puzzling), this new technique in manufacturing is putting seams into pattern pieces. New, No. That it is being computerized, Yes. I have been doing this for years and using small cut pieces (normally waste from cutting) and piecing them together.  Being more mindful and being sustainably is a huge undertaking, but let's not insult people's intelligence and let's not exaggerate our contributions. Monumental change requires time and transparency.

My rant is more about getting people to be less consumer driven and more quality purchasing and supporting our local communities while moving towards sustainable changes. To stop buying cheap China, India or Bangladesh made products to save a buck while thousands are employing child labor, have unsafe working conditions or unfair wages. Stop complaining when a small business charges more because it costs more to produce sustainably or ethically. That's right that cheap piece of whatever will cost you more in the long run then something of quality. More importantly that purchase has more detrimental impact on our planet and humanity.

We have to stop looking for excuses to redirect our own guilt for being conditioned to consumerism. We are a resourceful community and because a little more money means it was ethically or sustainably produced is a big YES. YES, that was a social organization that gave back to end hunger. YES, that was organization that gave 10% back to end children and women in sex trafficking. YES, that was business using up cycled materials. YES, that was an organization that paid a living wage to marginalized women. YES, that was a small business that paid for their children's education or private lessons.

Our problems are many, but the solutions are here. Educate yourself about the companies you purchase. Your dollar is the mighty form of currency that holds great power. 

It takes a village to make a difference. And I believe you are my village, and we will make the future better because we can and do care.  I encourage you all to be the change you wish to see. I encourage you to not just buy from me but from all the companies that are making social impact.  I encourage you spend locally and support small business.  I encourage you to research companies and see how they are changing the world. We are all here being called to service.

Our planet is overwrought with environmental damages, careless consumption, devastating social atrocities and crimes towards humanity, planet and animals. We're so much bigger than what we face. 


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