Eco-friendly clothing: links roundup

Over at A Little Bit of All Of It, it's eco-friendly clothing week! In honour of which, here is a round-up of various links and so on from me and elsewhere, on the subject of eco-friendly clothing.

Upcycling

Upcycling existing clothes that you no longer wear is an eco-friendly way of getting new clothes. I haven't up cycled anything for myself lately, but I have been upcycling a T-shirt of mine (no longer wearable into a T-shirt for Leon. A skirt I don't wear became a pair of baby trousers last summer; they're still being worn this summer, just as three-quarter length rather than full length. I also made a pair of smart trousers from some suit trousers recently, but haven't yet blogged it.

Not clothes, but I made toys from scraps from my scrap box earlier this year, too.

Making clothes from fabric

How eco-friendly it is to make your own clothes (if not upcycling) depends on how eco-friendly the source fabric is. Although you could argue that making your own makes you more likely to wear and appreciate the garment, rather than treating it as disposable; it may also last longer and you might be more likely to patch it.

Here's a few sources of eco-friendly fabric, or yarn:

  • Organic Cotton do eco-friendly (organic, also fair trade) cotton and other materials, and deliver very fast. I've used them personally and can recommend them.
  • The Hemp Shop do hemp fabric, which is organic. It's not fair trade but they do give their factory working conditions on that page.
  • There are several sorts of yarn which is recycled from other yarns or fabrics:
    • Recycled sari silk: can be a bit odd to knit with, though, and doesn't knit a smooth fabric.
    • Second Time Cotton: recycled from consumer cotton scraps. Nice to knit with, but sadly I can't find a UK stockist at the moment.
    • Full Circle worsted and bulky wool is also made from leftover bits of British wools. It's 100% wool, very snuggly, and nice to knit with. It's a bit scratchy but only in the way that wool is often a bit scratchy.

You can also knit multi-coloured things from your end-balls of yarn; blankets are another way to use up ends of balls.

Shopping

Finally, if you're buying, start out with charity shops or Ebay second-hand clothes (as well as promoting reuse, this is also much cheaper!). If you're buying new, look for organic and fair trade, and be prepared (sadly) to spend a while at it, as it can be difficult to find both. Once you do, make your clothes last as long as possible by washing them only when they're actually dirty, protecting them when you're doing dirty chores (get an apron!), and patching them if possible.

COP15: more links

If you're in London, come down to Trafalgar Square to visit the Climate Camp COP OUT CAMP OUT activists. We'll be there until the end of the COP15 talks! I was down there yesterday and there's tea and biscuits. Extra sleeping bags, food, things to sit on, & so on would be appreciated by the campers. In particular, if anyone has a source of some kind of marquee or market stall that would stand up on its own (can't use pegs on Trafalgar Square...) that would be really, really useful as the kitchen marquee was only hired for the weekend & has gone away now.

COP OUT CAMP OUT protestors blockade the European Climate Exchange yesterday.

Climate Refugee Santas sing climate carols to those catching the last flight to Copenhagen before the talks start. Their photographer was arrested.

Download the Climate Justice Chronicle, being published every other day during the Copenhagen talks.

The article's not in English, but I think the picture says it all. 'Reception centre' for climate activists arrested over the next couple of weeks.

The Carbon Supermarket

You can download Kate Evans' latest cartoon, The Carbon Supermarket, from her website. It's a fantastic explanation of why carbon trading just doesn't work.

After seeing this I went looking through her archives, as well. I particularly liked this one about the Diggers, and this one about privacy rights, but they're all worth a read.

Update from my last post: that evening I went out to the AGM of the Friends of Galleywall Nature Reserve, a tiny nature reserve just down the road from me; and wound up volunteering as treasurer and to do a couple of other things to recruit volunteers. So if you're in S London & interested in local wildlife, let me know! There's an open morning coming up on the 12th December, as well.

Link roundup

Various links I've collected over the last couple of weeks: