Ecofriendly knitting: wading through the options

Posted on: March 21, 2011

I recently read “Knitting Green” by Ann Budd which contained all sorts of patterns and articles about ecofriendly knitting.  Much like choosing organic versus local produce at your supermarket, there are many options on the market.

When I first started my Etsy shop, I started by using the yarn I had in my stash.  That was simple enough – no need to go out and buy more and I was using what I already had on hand.

Next, I went on kijiji and found an estate sale where I bought bags of vintage wool yarn.  Again, that was pretty straight forward – I was repurposing yarn that may have otherwise been thrown out.  I later found another seller on kijiji who was purging her stash.

 Then, there are ecofriendly yarns such as bamboo, organic cottons, recycled sari yarn and dyeing methods that are more “earth” friendly.   These yarns have merit, however, I feel that if we have to ship these products from far away, thus producing a large carbon footprint, it kind of defeats the purpose of being ecofriendly.  Is using these types of yarn really better than buying something local?

I found at least three ads on kijiji listing yarns such as alpaca and alpaca/merino blends from local rural producers.  I personally feel more comfortable buying these yarns for two reasons.  First, these yarns are locally produced and therefore travel a shorter distance.  Secondly, I love being able to support local craftpeople and using local products.

There are so many options out there and many, many choices.  I do feel strongly about support local businesses and suppliers so for me, this is my ecofriendly option.


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