Last fall, we asked you to submit feedback via a sustainability survey. The purpose of the survey was simple:

We wanted to find out what interests you most when it comes to sustainability so you could help guide us in our work. We want to address issues you feel are most important. 

Makers have always been a deeply feeling, caring group. We see that when we step up during times of crisis; be it natural disasters, social causes and, broadly speaking, to support one another in times of need. So when it comes to the environment, sustainability and making better, conscious choices, it’s no surprise that makers are stepping up to do their part – in action by buying more responsibly and voicing concerns, by supporting businesses and organizations working to create a safer environment and by sharing ideas to support environmental causes and sustainability.

We received 121 responses to our initial survey, the first of what we hope will be a collaborative effort between our work and changes makers want to see in the marketplace. 

The majority of respondents are quilters, followed closely by apparel sewers, home decor sewers, embroiderers, knitters, and a wide variety of makers that needle felt, dye, weave, spin, crochet and devote their time to mixed media, collage and other arts. Many of you are personally or professionally involved in multiple crafts. 

What we learned from this survey is that makers want more information and more transparency from the companies that supply our goods. You want to know: 

  1. The environmental impact of a particular material and/or its level of environmental impact including:
    The use of non-toxic components, recycled, or up-cycled components in products
    The environmental impact of products after disposal
    Impact on plant and animal life
    Responsible use of natural resources
  1. Responsible waste management and a reduction in plastic use and packaging
  2. Respect for human rights, racial diversity, equity, and inclusion
  3. LGBTQIA diversity, equity, and inclusion
  4. Ensuring safe conditions for workers
  5. Responsible sourcing and traceability of raw materials
  6. Compliance with existing standards (GOTS, Oeko-Tex, Standard 100, etc.)

As individuals, you want Create and Sustain to help guide choices by:

  1. Creating a directory of fabric, notions, yarn and fiber  producers with a matrix of sustainability indicators.
  2. Sharing inspirational interviews with designers, makers, and fiber artists about their own sustainable choices
  3. Feature projects using up-cycled, recycled, and environmentally-friendly materials
  4. Creating a hierarchy of action-oriented steps towards sustainability for consumers, shops, and industry

Our goals for this year are simple:

We have begun to build a directory of shops and  we will be working to create a matrix of sustainability. We hope to bring workshops and lectures to our community and will continue to highlight makers and companies making sustainable choices.

We are humbled and grateful to do this work and we welcome input and suggestions. We hope to build strong relationships with makers, businesses and the larger crafting community in order to create a healthier environment while supporting our industry. 

We are so glad you are a part of this community. We look forward to building this with you.

Click on the powerpoint presentation (look for the box with the arrow) so you can see it in a larger scale.

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