How would you describe the quintessential crafter? Better yet, how would you describe yourself? Crafters come in different ages, shapes, and sizes—from here to Africa, Mongolia, Norway, and beyond!
And while some might weave, others crochet, and people like us, felt! We could sit for years discussing the handcrafted items that have been made throughout history. With a wild variety of techniques and even more vibrant origin stories, the world of crafting is one that’s so brilliantly vivid.
But there’s one thing that has always connected us, whether we realize it or not. Crafters have historically been resourceful, and with having to make do with one’s resources comes sustainable practices.
Whether you’re looking at woven crafts from Tibet or felters here in the United States, craft culture often teaches localism. And this idea of reusing and repurposing materials is one we could really use today!
In regards to sustainability, crafts allow us to learn through empowerment regarding personal production and of course, our very own consumption use.
As a felter, when you put time, money, and effort towards sourcing quality wool and materials, you’re going to be a lot more cognizant of what you waste. You’ll also quickly see the value in shopping locally compared to buying mass-produced goods.
Modern manufacturing continues to wash the culture from the goods we buy. But as divisive as it may be, we absolutely wouldn’t be able to survive without many of the mass-produced items we use today.
On the other hand, craft practices usually have a community-centered production that helps to build a sense of connection and culture. And now that sustainable development and recycling are a hot topic due to our planet’s drastic changes, a look at craft culture could teach the world a bit more about sustainability.
Crafting could be the catalyst for a total transition to more sustainable societies. And while that might sound a bit crazy, if you look back in history, it’s not too far off.
Regardless of the craft, it’s time for society to stop looking at these arts as a thing from the past, and instead, truly start considering them as answers for our future.
As crafters, we can be a voice for the way materials are sourced and fight for better practices between goods, manufacturers, and our environment.
By supporting other crafters and local producers, we have the potential to reconfigure our systems, even if it’s just for the crafting community. We’re all tiny drops, but together, all of those tiny drops can fill a big bucket. Craft can contribute to the building of resilient communities!
Crafting isn’t just about creating fun designs. It’s also about friendship! If you want to join our community of passionate crafters, check out the Needle Felting Academy. With new designs, tips, and hacks, you’ll finally be able to take your craft projects to the next level!