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Materials Matter

Image of wooden drawers with spools of ribbon. Text overlay "Materials Matter Adventures in creating a sustainable studioAdventures in Creating a Sustainable Studio

Over the past year I have slowly been re-evaluating my entire studio practice through the lens of sustainability. I believe that as makers, we have a responsibility to be cognizant of the items we create and put forth into our world. The materials we use matter! In this long and on-going process I have learned so much! I have enjoyed creating entirely new collections and also made some decisions to remove items from my product line-up. I've connected with some other amazing creatives & small business owners and found community in this space. I feel really good about these adjustments and hope you do too! Here are highlights on my journey to a sustainable studio practice:

  • It starts with progress over perfection. I don't have this all figured out- not even close. But I can commit to taking small steps in a eco-friendlier direction & continue to learn. 
  • Eliminating use of new un-friendly materials. Are there some materials that have been used in the past on original artworks that I might not use today? You betcha! And the most sustainable thing to do in that case, is to leave them be. But I also had designed a series of print on demand offerings. So,  I took the time to really research some of the materials my home-good and accessory items were being printed on, and I didn't love what I found. So, I have removed all the print on demand items that I wasn't pleased with, until I can find alternatives that use more sustainable materials. 
  • Repurposing & Upcycling: My entire earring collection is based on this idea of making old and scrap fabrics new and fresh again, so that they can be used and not end up in a landfill. Even the tiniest trimmings are saved because there is always a new creative craft idea just around the corner.
  • Thoughtful Shipping. For items that ship from directly from the studio, I try to  minimize (new) plastic & waste on packaging materials, be it either a re-used box or compostable mailer. 

I cannot over-state enough that this is a continuous adventure in learning and adjusting, but even the teeniest baby-steps in the right direction are a pretty amazing and impactful thing. You might really be surprised at how easy some sustainability swaps are (I know I was)! If you are interested in learning more about small eco-friendlier steps you can easily implement in your own day to day, reach out to me. I am more than happy to share some great resources I have discovered along the way! 

Best,

Caren


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