Perfection is impossible, but transparency is important.

Our goal is to help you reduce waste, while being conscious of our own.

The textile and garment industries are responsible for an incredible amount of waste.

While Cruelty-Free Stitchery is microscopic in the grand scheme of things, being a very small home-based business - we're dedicated to being a part of the desperately-needed change.

(And dedicated to the vision that we will not be small forever!)

Here are some recent changes we've made.

1. For NonPaper products (Cotton Rounds, Cloth Wipes, and NonPaper Towels) - we have switched from polyester thread to 100% tencel cellulose thread. (May 2022)

This means all new NonPaper products will be completely biodegradable and free of synthetic materials.

(As of opening this site, all of those products sold here will have the new thread. Currently the only thread colors available are our signature lilac purple and black. Remaining stock with old thread are clearanced on Etsy.)

Spork Pouches and Straw Pouches may have remaining stock with the old thread.

All other product types are made with 100% cotton thread. 

2. Cloth Wipes got a little bigger! (April 2022)

Previously, Cloth Wipes measured approximately 8x6". As with all products, this size was chosen specifically to maximize the usage of fabric and reduce waste.

Now, thanks to a more efficient cutting system, the size has increased to 8x6.5".

Doesn't seem like much, just an extra half-inch, but that adds up to 48-96 square inches of fabric *per pack* of Cloth Wipes (depending on 1-ply or 2-ply).

This extra fabric was used to make the assorted packs of Cotton Rounds, but still generated some waste, and was inefficient as the pieces were uneven.

Improvements to be made.

We source plant-based and organic materials whenever possible, both from an availability and affordability standpoint.

Here are some products that don't quite hit the mark yet - and what we're doing about it.

Mesh bags. These are currently made from polyester mesh, nylon cord, and plastic cord stoppers. As of May 2022, we are communicating with a supplier of cotton mesh. Previously, this was inaccessible. Nylon cord will be replaced with cotton cord when supply runs out - to avoid excess waste. The plastic cord stoppers we use are very high quality and durable, so the decision remains to continue using them and offer replacement bags without a stopper - or switch to metal.

Straw and Spork Pouches. As mentioned above, some stock remains with the old polyester thread. These are being phased out, and new stock will be made with the new thread.

Straw Pouches. They are made with a PUL (polyurethane) coated lining. The lining is made from organic cotton and is certified food-safe. It is manufactured in the USA with no toxic solvents. The problem is that it is not biodegradable, but this is a trade-off for being manufactured with low environmental impact, and it is the best (possibly the only) option for sustainable waterproof material.

Cotton Flannel. NonPaper products - Cotton Rounds, Cloth Wipes, and NonPaper Towels. They are made with conventional (not organic) cotton. This is a difficult trade-off for affordability. Not only are the kinds of prints and colors we offer simply not available in organic cotton, the very very small amount of options that are available are at least 10x the price, no exaggeration, even with bulk discount. We have decided to continue using this material to keep NonPaper as affordable as possible.

What we're proud of.

Sometimes, we find a great solution right away!

1. Our packaging. Since Cruelty-Free Stitchery opened its virtual doors in 2016, we have used EcoEnclose mailers and shipping labels. It was, and still is, important to use only paper materials that are recycled and recyclable. The amount of plastic waste that comes from eCommerce orders is just unfathomable, and we don't want to contribute to that.

We never use any plastic tape or poly bags. Most of our orders fit in just one of two sizes of paper mailers! Large orders will ship in a reused box with paper tape, and any extra space is filled with reused packing paper.

Even our shipping labels are recyclable. Conventional labels and stickers come on a silicone-coated release liner, but not ours! (P.S. our stickers are also silicone-free!)

Our packing slips and business card are merged into one 4x6" piece of recycled cardstock. So your order comes with a mailer, the product, and one recyclable card. No fluff and no extras to throw away.

2. Scrunchies. If we could measure exactly how close our products could get to "zero waste" - scrunchies would be the closest. The outer material is cotton and digitally-printed, which uses less (almost no) water and chemicals. The pieces can be cut with 100% of the printed fabric being used - the only waste is the selvedge (the outside, unprinted edge). The elastic is purely natural plant-based rubber and organic cotton, and the thread is 100% cotton that comes on a cardboard spool (versus plastic like most others).

3. Bamboo Sporks. Despite the changes to the thread used to make the pouches, the sporks themselves were a great find. We source them from Bambu. They are USDA-certified organic, and made ethically in partnership with small family-owned workshops.


Why don't you use or sell XYZ?

A lot of "sustainable" products aren't so sustainable at all! (Hello greenwashing!)

Other things either don't fit with our ethics or mission, or aren't feasible at the current stage.

1. "Compostable" mailers, bioplastics, etc. You've probably seen them - those "Hey I'm Compostable!" mailers, or bioplastic bags that are supposed to be compostable. These items are a huge problem, and a prime example of greenwashing. These materials are only compostable in industrial facilities - not your backyard, and certainly not in landfills. Only a handful of such facilities exist in the U.S. And since they are not actually plastic, they will also contaminate the recycling stream if not disposed of properly. These items also create a higher carbon footprint when produced, as compared to actual plastic. This is a pretty easy choice for us, and it's a HARD pass.

2. Wool dryer balls, silk/satin scrunchies, etc. We're a vegan-founded business, and will not use or profit from animal products. Even if they come from a mom and pop farm where animals are "not abused." Yes, sheep need to be shorn of their wool, but we support animal sanctuaries who use their sheep's wool as bedding for other animals, or let birds and other wildlife use it for their nests. While silk is not vegan, satin technically is - but it's made from polyester. If we find a plant-based material that is similar - absolutely!

3. Bowl cozies, quilts, embroidery, clothing, etc. We are often asked to make other hand-sewn items, especially because of our commitment to less waste. However, our mission is to replace typically disposable items with reusables. Our method of producing items with as little waste as possible just does not work for one-off designs. And we don't have an embroidery machine!


For any questions about our sustainability - feel free to contact us!