Sustainability Updates - September 2022
Sustainability is a process, more so than a journey or end-goal.
Cruelty-Free Stitchery was founded with the intent to make waste-reducing products without producing excess waste.
Over the years, I've learned more and have been able to implement more sustainable practices and products.
While perfection is impossible, the best we (you and I) can do is simply to be better than we were yesterday.
It's no longer a secret that the textile and garment industries produce an astronomical amount of waste - in both the raw materials side and the finished product side.
Cruelty-Free Stitchery is a one-woman operation, ran from the upstairs of my house, so I cannot possibly produce the same amount of waste as an entire factory - but I can do my part to source responsible materials and limit or eliminate waste where possible.
I have a page dedicated to sustainability, so I won't rehash everything here, but I do have a few updates!
The biggest update so far is the new thread.
Since shortly before I launched this website on May 28th 2022, all new products have been made with 100% cellulose thread.
Previously, the threads were polyester, as this was the easiest for me to access at the time without the resources to order in bulk, and while keeping prices accessible.
This seemingly small change was a huge step - and a timely one at that!
Cruelty-Free Stitchery hit a growth spurt in June 2022 thanks to a viral TikTok and Instagram video. I estimate that I used 20 cones of the cellulose thread in about 1 month, which equates to 40 cones of the previous polyester thread - saving 20 extra cones and approximately 3 pounds of polyester thread from entering landfills so far.
My first completely biodegradable and compostable product was the Biodegradable Scrunchies - and with the thread change, all Cotton Rounds, Cloth Wipes, and NonPaper Towels are biodegradable and compostable as well.
This brings us to the second and most recent update.
For over a year, I have searched for an alternative to the polyester mesh (previously!) used for the mesh bags that are optional with Cotton Rounds to wash or store them.
I know that reusable produce bags exist with cotton mesh, and found lots of those already made - but couldn't seem to find the actual fabric ANYWHERE.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of online fabric shops, sustainability organizations, co-ops - and nothing.
Finally, a few months ago, I found it! Perfect timing again, as I only had TWO mesh bags left.
So now all mesh bags are made with organic cotton mesh, cotton drawstring, and the cellulose thread.
After researching and asking my followers, I decided the best route for the cord stopper was to continue using the high-quality plastic ones in lieu of metal. They can be removed and reused once the mesh has served its purpose.
As of now (September 2022) - this leaves only a few non-plant-based items in the shop - the cord stoppers on the mesh bags, and the Reusable Straw Pouches.
The Straw Pouches have a water-resistant PUL (polyurethane) lining. The material itself is organic cotton, responsibly made in the U.S. with no toxins or harsh chemicals and is actually certified food-safe. I wanted to have a water-resistant lining, and this is the most eco-friendly option - at least for now.