I’m a big fan of Earth. I remember being very small when my mama told me about how bad littering is. I have always been one of the most dedicated recyclers I know. I buy pretty much everything used. I pull the plastic “window” coverings off junk mail envelopes to better recycle them. The most exciting thing about living in a house with a backyard isn’t the privacy or space – its the compost pile.
But I am also a sucker for cheap. Which means pretty much all the yarn I’ve been buying is cheap. I don’t know where it comes from. The packaging might say “made in Bangladesh” or something, but what does that really mean? How was it made? Which chemicals were put into the yarn, and therefore into the atmosphere? The business I am supporting – how much waste do they create? What kind of impact am I personally leaving on the earth by purchasing this yarn?
AND, what about the people who made the yarn, the people who keep the machines going? Are they treated fairly? Are they paid a decent wage? What about their working conditions?
Well, I figured it was time to feel less guilty about my favorite craft activity. So I did a bunch of research on the interwebs, and found the perfect website to buy from:
The business is owned by a woman named Nicole, and she imports yarn from India and Nepal. The yarn is fair trade and spun in women’s co-ops. There are even pictures of the women working, so you know they’re not being shut in a dirty factory 16 hours a day. There’s a bunch of different kinds, but I will tell you about the two kinds that I bought.
Recycled silk! It’s exactly like it sounds. The women take remnants from silk saris and spin them into soft, beautiful yarn.
Banana Fiber! Basically, agricultural waste from banana trees is soaked in water and when the chlorophyll dissolves, they extract the good stuff and spin it!
I bought several 100 gram balls of both banana fiber and recycled silk yarn, and I have already made a couple of wonderfully guilt-free things! Not only are they eco-friendly and human-friendly, they are beautiful. I ordered the “kaleidescope” banana fiber yarn, and it seriously has a million different colors, making every ball of yarn, and therefore every project, totally unique!
ALSO, the price won’t make you cry. Plenty of yarn shops have great, handspun yarns for sale… for $20 and beyond. Darn Good Yarn’s prices are reasonable for a thrift store junkie (that’s me!) even if you don’t buy wholesale (which I did).
Here is my first banana fiber hat!