As promised in my previous post, I made a sample reusable shopping bag over the weekend.
The fabric of choice: 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton canvas in natural, stone colour. I love this fabric. I know, I know, how could I just tuck away all those adorable new Japanese prints, and spend a weekend fondling this plain beige fabric instead? Is Piggledee having an identity crisis, you wonder? But before I answer that question, let me show you more of this bag first.
I used an orange cotton facing to finish the opening edge of the bag. The pretty bird fabric is actually a big pocket – which is mostly decorative, but is still useful to hold a few lightweight things like an envelope.
A view of the inside. Simple . I topstitched the side seams, encasing all raw edges, so it looks neat and tidy inside. I used to love my overlocker, but of late the overlocked finish has been bothering me. It looks too factory-made and not pretty to look at. Encased seams exude quality, I think. Beauty is all about details.
This bag wasn’t meant so much for grocery shopping – even though you can of course use it anyway you like. Personally, I already have a dozen reusable grocery bags I bought from supermarkets, which are cheap and ugly but lightweight and functional. Besides, if I’m doing a grocery run, I don’t really care what I look like much. But for other kinds of shopping — craft supplies, books and magazines, clothing — that might involve a leisurely stroll through an upscale mall (or not), it gets depressing having to carry those unsightly grocery bags.
So with a pretty bag like this, I can reduce consumption of disposable bags I’d otherwise accumulate from the shops (did you know disposable paper bags are just as evil as plastic ones?) while looking pretty cool.
Now, to answer your presumed question about whether Piggledee is going schizophrenic, well, I don’t think so. I’m not giving up using cute Japanese prints for making children’s accessories. I’m just trying to incorporate more and more sustainable materials in my children’s items, like blankets, washers and towels, without sacrificing the “aw… so cute” element. Because in my opinion, sustainable items should look good as well. Unfortunately, those cute Japanese children’s prints do not come in organic cotton…
At the same time, since most of my customers have young children, I’m also making a few earth-friendly products for their daily use, like this shopping bag. Because, after all, parents of little ones are in a peculiar position to be most concerned about our environment, aren’t they? It’s the children who are most vulnerable to pollution or pesticides, and parents are the first to watch them suffer. Even the most selfish of parents must be concerned whether there will be any habitable planet left, at this rate of pollution and abuse, on which their children could live long happy lives.
Anyway, to summarise my point, it’s all about integrating “pretty” and “sustainable” in a fun and non-dogmatic way in everyday parenting. It’s my lifestyle that’s showing in my products, and it’s not schizophrenic.
I just listed this bag on my madeit shop here.
So what’s next on my to-make list using sustainable materials? I think something fun and pretty for kids’ mealtime. Cloth napkins, place mats and maybe aprons. Because all too often, mealtime with little ones is anything but fun. Stay tuned!